The FDA said it would consider requiring brands to remove flavored products, which could be contributing to the rise in youth e-cigarette use.
The FDA is in the process of rolling out a sweeping anti-smoking created to make it easier for smokers to quit by cutting the nicotine levels in regular cigarettes.
The Food and Drug Administration is threatening to pull flavored electronic cigarettes like Juul off the market if the tobacco industry doesn't do more to combat growing use of the products by children and teens.
Other studies have indicated that while e-cigarettes may have milder effects on the lungs, they are just as bad - if not worse - for the cardiovascular system, raising risks of heart disease and high blood pressure.
And some of the retailers that received warning letters are still advertising and selling these products, he said.
In raw numbers, that is 3.6 million students using tobacco past year compared with 4.5 million in 2011.
American health officials threatened to ban flavoured e-cigarettes, warning of a teenage vaping "epidemic".
It cited estimates from Public Health England that e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than normal cigarettes.
The agency remains committed to the tobacco framework, Gottlieb told staffers Wednesday, but he acknowledged that it "didn't predict what I now believe is an epidemic of e-cigarette use among teenagers". Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc had the biggest one-day percentage gain in about a decade. The academy said Gottlieb has the authority to intervene in the market to protect minors, and any further delay runs the risk that "a generation of young people will become addicted to these risky products". But it added that "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch", spokeswoman Victoria Davis said.
Beyond that, vaping research and development is actually costing tobacco companies as they attempt to gain market share in the burgeoning industry, Lavery said.
The FDA is trying to set up a framework for regulating e-cigarettes.
"There is no question that a lot of the youth use is being driven by Juul", Gottlieb said.
In its bid to wean adult smokers from traditional cigarettes, the agency has sought to make a wider range of "reduced risk" tobacco products available to consumers.
The decision was criticized by anti-smoking advocates who say e-cigarette makers are targeting kids with candy and fruit flavors and marketing that portrays their products as flashy, handheld gadgets. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate, and work with the FDA to further strengthen, our youth access prevention policies and procedures.
The government agency has ordered five leading brands, including Juul, which has 72% of the market as of mid-August, according to Wells Fargo, as well as BAT's Vuse, Altria's MarkTen, Imperial's Blue E-cigs and Japan Tobacco's Logic, to submit plans within 60 days detailing how they will combat excessive teen use of their products.
Gottlieb said he plans in the coming weeks to debut additional enforcement actions targeting companies that may be marketing products to children in ways that are misleading. Juul takes up almost 71 percent of the entire e-cig market with its USB sized device that comes with single inserts containing the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
The press released called on the FDA to immediately begin "requiring all e-cigarettes and other newly deemed tobacco products to go through the premarket review process required in the Tobacco Control Act, and removing all flavored tobacco products from the marketplace". But it also sent letters to five leading manufacturers of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" (ENDS), insisting that they do more to keep their products away from teenagers.