Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Tuesday morning, Axios Executive Editor Mike Allen hosted a series of conversations on the risks, reality and innovation challenges facing our public health, particularly as they relate to the rise in e-cigarette use. While regulators like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have declared the rapid rise in youth vaping to be a "public health emergency," vaping advocates are fighting back — arguing that e-cigarettes give adult cigarette addicts a safer alternative.

Why it matters: This debate was brought to a head last month when the FDA issued a notice to the most popular makers of e-cigarettes. The notice declared that these companies had 60 days to prove they can keep their products away from minors or risk a complete ban.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Gottlieb discussed the data he's seen on the rise of vaping in high schools and middle schools and the measures the FDA is considering to mitigate it.

  • What caused the problem. "We have two problems: [e-cigarettes] are too appealing to kids and they’re too accessible to kids." E-cigarettes often come in flavors like skittles, watermelon or cotton candy, which critics argue heighten their appeal to minors.
  • How big the problem is. "This is a public health emergency. ... There’s nothing to indicate to me that this trend isn’t growing. We’re getting into frightening numbers of kids using these products."
  • Curbing underage use of e-cigarettes. The Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on the online sale of e-cigarettes, and new limits on flavored products are also on the table, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
Winston Churchill High School Students
Winston Churchill High School students Brandon Schoenfeld and Jaclyn Frank speak with Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

High School students Brandon Schoenfeld and Jaclyn Frank spoke about what they see as the vaping culture at their school and what fuels it.

  • The power of access. "Kids can get their hands on the devices much easier. ... There’s a lot of retail stores that will sell to kids. Fake IDs are used not just for alcohol but for vaping," Frank said.
  • Not everyone vapes. "The kids who aren’t involved in the culture of going out and drinking and smoking aren’t involved in it. The kids who are involved now have a new outlet to be involved," Schoenfeld said.
American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley
American Vaping Association Gregory Conley and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Conley discussed how e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to cigarettes and why he thinks having flavored e-cigarettes is important.

  • A cigarette alternative. "E-cigarettes help adults get off of deadly products. ... The vast majority of vapers are using non-tobacco flavors. That’s why so many former tobacco users say it’s so effective."
CATCH Global Foundation CEO Duncan Van Dusen
CATCH Global Foundation CEO and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Van Dusen dug into the appeal of vaping, its risks and CATCH Global Foundation's e-cigarette prevention program CATCH My breath, which is currently in 49 states.

  • The tech appeal of vaping. "[Vaping] looks more like something that would be produced by apple than a big tobacco company."
  • The importance of prevention. "If you reward nicotine receptors early, you’re more likely to become addicted. If you don’t reward them, the receptors will have atrophied. That’s why it’s important to prevent middle schoolers from starting."

Go deeper:

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - World

Russia announces end to massive troop buildup near Ukraine

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia's defense minister said Thursday that massive military exercises near the border with Ukraine had been completed, and that he had ordered troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1, according to state media.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of troops and heavy military equipment had been moved to the border of eastern Ukraine and the annexed territory of Crimea over the last month, sparking fears of a potential Russian invasion.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
48 mins ago - Economy & Business

Private equity's other tax fight

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Private equity is carefully watching the D.C. debate on corporate taxes, in which Senate Democrats seem to be settling on a 25% rate.

Zoom in: Marginal rates obviously matter, but for PE it's just an appetizer before the weedier work begins on issues like corporate interest deductibility.

Making sense of Biden's big emissions promise

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's new U.S. emissions-cutting target is a sign of White House ambition and a number that distills the tough political and policy maneuvers needed to realize those aims.

Driving the news: This morning the White House unveiled a nonbinding goal under the Paris Agreement that calls for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.