FDA Takes Aim At Underage E-Cigarette Use

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An electronic cigarette. (EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A new campaign against underage electronic cigarette use is underway, after the FDA carried out an enforcement blitz targeting stores that sell the smoking devices to those not old enough to legally buy them.

The e-cigs contain nicotine and are often marketed in kid-friendly flavors. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker about the growing problem, which he calls an epidemic--even here in Massachusetts.

"Over 40 percent of high school students have tried an e-cigarette at some point while they were in high school," Zeller said. "For current users in the state, it's 1 in 5 high school students are currently using e-cigarettes."

The prevention campaign, called "The Real Cost," aims to get kids where they're getting the products.

"We're going to start putting posters in high school bathrooms, alerting kids to the health consequences of e-cigarette use," Zeller said.

Recently, the FDA issued more than 1,300 warning letters to retailers who sold to underage kids--including 48 stores in Massachusetts and at least six in Boston.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker (@radiobenparker) reports

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