US health officials move to tighten sales of e-cigarettes

Jeremy Wong smokes an e-cigarette at The Vaping Buddha on January 23, 2018 in South San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators are moving ahead with a plan to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers by restricting sales of most flavored products in convenience stores and online.

The new guidelines, first proposed in November, are the latest government effort to reverse what health officials call an epidemic of underage vaping.

E-cigarettes typically heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapor. Federal law bans their sale to those under 18, but 1 in 5 high school students report using e-cigarettes, according to the latest government figures.

Under proposed guidelines released Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette makers would restrict sales of most flavored products to stores that verify the age of customers or include a separate, age-restricted area of the store for vaping products.

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