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E-Cig Users Are Already Searching for Ways Around Coming U.S. Sales Restrictions

  • Agency plans limits on flavored e-cigs, menthol cigarettes
  • Web searches for loopholes spike; health advocates see gaps
A Juul Labs Inc. e-cigarette and flavored pods.

A Juul Labs Inc. e-cigarette and flavored pods.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg
Updated on

U.S. regulators are seeking sharp sales restrictions on tobacco products that appeal to young people, but internet users are already looking for ways to get around them.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb hinted for weeks that his agency would take action to halt a dramatic increase in underage use of e-cigarettes. As part of a series of measures outlined on Thursday, he said that the agency would limit sales of most types of flavored e-cigarettes to specialized stores and online retailers that can verify a purchaser’s age.