In a release, the FDA said it's taking "historic action" against companies that it believes promotes use and addiction of their products to young vapers.
The Food and Drug Administration is looking to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes since the surge in teenage use of the products.
Several of the manufacturers targeted by the FDA - Juul, MarkTen, Vuse, Blu and Logic - issued statements agreeing with the need to limit access to minors and announcing their willingness to work with the FDA to reach a solution.
Shares of Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes in the USA, rose as much as 5.3 percent to $62.60 in NY, the biggest intraday gain in eight years.
Shares of British American Tobacco were up almost 6 percent and shares of cigarette-maker Imperial Brands PLC were up more than 3 percent.
The commissioner has repeatedly agreed that e-cigarettes can be an effective tool for adults trying to quit smoking, so his harsh words for the industry on Wednesday were all the more remarkable.
"This could result in a bullet through the head of Juul, the driver of youth initiation", said Nico von Stackelberg, an analyst with Liberum in London.
"We welcome FDA's action today and look forward to sharing our thoughts about how to prevent and reduce youth use, an issue we have focused on for decades", Altria spokesman George Parman said in a statement. He declined to disclose the evidence. The crackdown marks a shift in the agency's policy.
Still, Myers said, there's "no way to put that genie back in the bottle" with youth use.
"This public campaign will bring these public health messages to online sites that we know teenagers access, and even to high school bathrooms", Gottlieb said. Such grim statistics prompted the FDA to recently propose that the level of nicotine, the addictive substance that gets people hooked, permitted in products should be brought down, either suddenly or gradually over time, to eventually wean people off smoking. More generally, the FDA wants Juul and the other companies to contemplate "the particular youth appeal of their products", which involves features, such as style and convenience, that adults also happen to like. But spokeswoman Victoria Davis said "appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch". "By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission".
To gain clearance to return to the market, the companies would have to prove that the benefits to adults who use e-cigarettes in order to stop smoking traditional cigarettes outweigh the risks associated with youth vaping.
Officials said the move against more than 1,300 retailers was the largest coordinated enforcement action in the agency's history.
It cited estimates from Public Health England that e-cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than normal cigarettes.
Hutsell says that he lost his mother to lung cancer after she smoked for over 30 years and that he wishes vaping was available for her back then.
The FDA has also been revamping its regulation on tobacco, including lowering the amount of nicotine in conventional cigarettes. In 2009, the Tobacco Control Act gave the agency authority over cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
The FDA extended an Obama era deadline that would have required e-cigarettes on the market by 2016 to be reviewed starting this year.