US officials call teen vaping 'epidemic,' weigh flavor ban

FILE - This Dec. 4, 2013 file photo shows vials of flavored liquid at a store selling electronic cigarettes and related items in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, U.S. health officials said teenage use of e-cigarette has reached “epidemic” levels in the U.S. and are calling on the industry to address the problem or risk having their flavored products pulled off the market. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials say teenage use of e-cigarette has reached "epidemic" levels and are calling on the industry to address the problem or risk having their flavored products pulled off the market.

The warning from the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday marks a stark shift in the agency's tone on e-cigarettes, which have become the most used tobacco product among teenagers.

Since 2017, FDA officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes.

But FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency did not predict an "epidemic of addiction" among youth, mainly driven by flavored products.

Gottlieb says the five largest e-cigarette manufacturers will have 60 days to produce plans to immediately reverse underage use of their products.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from this section

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — For women like Jayne A. Cordes, the steady stream of investigations in Washington is exhausting. That's why, when Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than three decades ago, it stru…

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Much of the political world is consumed with a battle over a Supreme Court nominee, an expanding trade war and President Donald Trump's social media posts. But on the ground in Minnesota, the first votes of the 2018 midterm elections are being cast.