The outgoing commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is sharing a stark warning about e-cigarettes. In an exclusive interview with CBS News' Dr. Jon LaPook,said the products may have to be pulled from stores.
"We think that these products can offer an alternative for currently addicted adult smokers to migrate off of combustible tobacco onto something that doesn't have all the same risks associated with it. But it can't come at the expense of addicting a whole generation of kids onto nicotine through these e-cigarette products," Gottlieb said.
Alarm bells went off last year when he saw a survey on youth tobacco use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found a 78 percent increase in high school students using e-cigarettes in one year, raising the number of middle and high school tobacco users to almost 5 million.
"This is something that caught everyone by surprise. If we see another 30, 40 percent increase this year on top of that, we're gonna be at youth tobacco use rates of around 40 to 45 percent in this country. There's nothing compared to that," Gottlieb said.
"In response to that data, you thought, 'Well, we've gotta regulate this more. We've gotta get our arms around this,' right," asked LaPook.
"If we see another sharp increase in the youth rates this year, we're gonna have to look at more draconian measures like potentially taking these pod-based products off the market entirely," Gottlieb said.
Watch more of Dr. LaPook's interview with Gottlieb on "CBS This Morning," Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 7:00a.m. ET.