"Juuling", along with "vaping", has become a common term for e-cigarette use by teenagers on social media and at United States high schools.
"The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we're seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end", Scott Gottlieb, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said. "It be simply no longer tolerable".
The FDA is giving the five top-selling e-cigarette brands - Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic - 60 days to provide plans for how they will mitigate sales to minors.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey raised similar concerns about e-cigarettes in July, when she said her office was investigating one of the biggest makers, San Francisco-based JUUL Labs Inc., for alleged sales to minors.
According to the agency, if they fail to do so, or if the plans do not appropriately address this issue, the FDA will consider whether it would be appropriate to revisit the current policy that allows these products to stay on the market without a marketing order from the agency.
"But we are not going to let e-cigarettes be an on-ramp for our youth to get addicted to nicotine and transition potentially into combustible tobacco - not going to happen".
"The FDA should immediately move to regulate flavored e-cigarettes, instead of waiting until 2022, as it is now planning to do", Bloomberg said in a statement. Many public-health groups believe such flavors entice young people to try the devices.
"Tooday, we can see that this epidemic of addiction was emerging when we first announced our plan last summer", Gottlieb said.
A nationwide sting operation from June through August resulted in more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who sold Juul products and other e-cigarettes to kids.
The commissioner said flavors play a key role in peaking teen interest.
FDA wants e-cigarette makers to extinguish use by kids
Since 2017, FDA officials have discussed e-cigarettes as a potential tool to ween adult smokers off cigarettes . HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Hurricane Florence and the FDA considering a ban of all flavored e-cigarettes.
The companies say they are working with the FDA to prevent young people from using their devices.
Manufacturers offer and market e-cigarette flavours that clearly appeal to minors, including candy and bubble gum flavours. Upon review, the FDA could require the firms to change their sales and marketing practices, stop distributing to retailers that sell to youth or halt the sale of some or all of their flavored e-cigarette products altogether until the companies clear the applications process.
JUUL said Wednesday that it will work "proactively" with the and wants to be "part of the solution" in thwarting use among children, though it defended the merits of flavored e-cigarettes for other users. Regulators said it was the largest coordinated crackdown in the agency's history.
While other companies did not specifically address the FDA's action, in a series of tweets Altria highlighted its efforts to preventing youth tobacco use. "Hindsight, and the knowledge now available to us, present these traits".
According to the Washington Post, the preliminary data is from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, and it shows a 75 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students in 2018 compared to 2017.
However, there is little consensus about how to regulate the industry.
Over the past several years, e-cigarettes (vaping) were the most commonly used tobacco product by youth.
Makers argue that e-cigarettes can help adult smokers transition away from burnt tobacco products.
In April the agency launched a Youth Tobacco Prevention Opinion, created to take care of some of the crucial identified public successfully being dangers, equivalent to flavors, that make contributions to adolescent employ of e-cigarettes.
Gottlieb said e-cigarettes have the potential to help adult smokers, but also said the industry's lack of action on youth use could lead to fewer choices for adults who want to purchase e-cigarettes.