The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has moved to ban the sale and distribution of merchandise from Juul Labs Inc, an e-cigarette firm that many blame for sparking a proliferation of teenage vaping within the United States.
In a assertion on Thursday, the federal well being company stated the corporate should cease promoting and distributing its merchandise within the US – together with its vaping system and flavoured cartridges – whereas these already in the marketplace have to be eliminated.
The FDA is not going to goal customers for possessing Juul merchandise, it added.
“Today’s action is further progress on the FDA’s commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarette and electronic nicotine delivery system products currently being marketed to consumers meet our public health standards,” FDA Commissioner Robert M Califf stated within the assertion.
The US vaping market, value an estimated $6bn in 2020, based on knowledge from Grand View Research, has come underneath elevated scrutiny as anti-tobacco advocates name for higher regulation of the business.
In response to the FDA’s announcement, the corporate stated on Thursday that it could discover “all of our options under the FDA’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator”.
Juul merchandise accounted for 42 % of the US e-cigarette market in 2020, knowledge agency Statista reported.
Juul and different e-cigarette corporations usually promote flavoured merchandise, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated enhances their attraction amongst younger individuals.
Between 2015 and 2018, based on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), gross sales of fruit-flavoured e-cigarette cartridges skyrocketed by 600 % and “young people identify flavors as a primary reason they use e-cigarettes”.
The CDC additionally reported that e-cigarettes have been the most well-liked tobacco product amongst younger people who smoke since 2014, and greater than 10 % of highschool college students reported utilizing e-cigarettes in 2021, in contrast with simply 1.9 % who use conventional cigarettes.
In 2018, the US Surgeon General declared that there was an “e-cigarette epidemic” amongst younger individuals, including that e-cigarette utilization elevated 78 % amongst highschool college students from the earlier 12 months, from 11.7 % in 2017 to 20.eight % in 2018.
In 2019, greater than 27 % of highschool college students used e-cigarettes, in accordance to the CDC.
In its assertion on Thursday, the FDA stated Juul failed to offer adequate knowledge to point out that the advertising and marketing of its merchandise was “appropriate for the protection of the public health”.
“Without the data needed to determine relevant health risks, the FDA is issuing these marketing denial orders,” it stated.
Juul has pitched itself as an various to cigarettes, and its web site states that its “mission is to transition the world’s billion adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes, eliminate their use, and combat underage usage of our products”.
Opponents of e-cigarettes usually are not satisfied and preserve that the attraction of vaping, particularly with flavoured merchandise, threatens to roll again the profitable lower in teenage smoking that has occurred over the past a number of a long time.
On its web site, the anti-smoking advocacy group Truth Initiative says, “While we endorse the important public health strategy of harm minimization and these new products may be beneficial to smokers who completely switch from combustible tobacco, they still pose health risks and nonsmokers should never use them.”
During the final a number of years, Juul has paid out tens of tens of millions in lawsuits.
In April of this 12 months, Juul agreed to pay $22.5m to settle a client safety lawsuit filed by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who claimed that the corporate misled customers in regards to the addictiveness of its product and focused underage customers.
In North Carolina a 12 months earlier, Juul agreed to a $40m settlement after being sued by the state Attorney General Josh Stein for misleading advertising and marketing that focused younger individuals.