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FDA, Minnesota Department of Health warn of e-cigarette epidemic

The FDA is taking action against what it calls a youth e-cigarette epidemic. 

The agency says it sent 1,100 warning letters to stores for illegally selling e-cigarettes to minors. 

It also issued more than a hundred fines to stores that continued to violate those restrictions.

The Minnesota Department of Health also issued a warning Wednesday on e-cigarette use in young adults. 

It says high school tobacco use in Minnesota increased for the first time in 17 years, largely due to e-cigarettes. 

Dr. Michael V. Burke, the Program Director of Mayo Clinic’s Nicotine Dependence Center says the nicotine in e-cigarettes is especially dangerous for adolescents because they’re more susceptible to addiction.

The brain development that’s meant to control impulses doesn’t happen until we’re in our early to mid 20’s and so if a tobacco company or an e-cigarette company can hook somebody while they’re young, they’re more likely to have a customer for life," he explained. 

The FDA also requested five major manufacturers to provide plans to stop sales to minors within 60 days, or they could face criminal or civil action. 

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