Friday, January 27, 2023

Juul Cigarettes to Be Taken Off the Market by FDA Order

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Juul has officially been banned from selling any of its products in the U.S. The decision comes as part of a continuing crackdown on nicotine products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Juul Boom Is Now Bust

Juul was once a promising start-up, beginning operations in 2015 and reaching its peak in 2018. The company’s vaping devices rapidly grew in popularity due to the many flavors available. The devices came with pre-filled nicotine packs in flavors such as creme brulee, mango, and cucumber. The ads featuring young models using e-cigarettes sparked outrage from parents and regulators. The company’s rise came at the same time as data showed an increase in teenage vaping. Juul stopped selling its sweet flavored packs due to the backlash, losing its stranglehold on the vaping market.

Courtesy of HS You (Flickr CC0)

This week’s FDA decision rejected Juul’s application to continue selling tobacco-flavored vaping packs. The decision surprised some since the flavor was not popular with young people and other companies are still allowed to produce it. Regulators are on a mission to make sure e-cigarettes are “appropriate for the protection of public health.” The FDA concluded that Juul’s vaping products were enticing young people to start vaping more than it was helping adults to quit smoking.

FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf reaffirmed the agency’s stance in a statement:

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.

Increased Pressure on the Government to Act

The FDA has caught flack from people on both sides of the issue for being slow on its reviews for products from bigger companies in the market. It has made decisions on millions of e-cigarette products in the past months, leading to more than 50 company lawsuits over the rulings.

Today’s decision follows another action on Tuesday regarding nicotine levels in cigarettes sold in the United States. The agency wants to require tobacco companies to reduce their products to non-addictive levels, an action affecting sales of a politically powerful industry.

Matthew L. Myers is the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He sees the decision as the most important action taken by the FDA to combat youth addiction to nicotine-loaded products.

Juul, more than any other product and any other company, has been responsible for creating and fueling the youth e-cigarette epidemic.

Myers also expressed gratitude for the banning of Juul’s menthol products.

Prohibiting menthol e-cigarettes is critical if the FDA is serious about reversing the e-cigarette epidemic. It’s the product the kids are using today.

Differing Opinions

While the FDA is being praised for its actions, some people feel that it went too far while others are fully against the decisions. Some tobacco-control advocates point to the effectiveness of Juul products, believing them to be a better alternative to cigarettes. Vaping advocates are fully against the move, to no surprise. They say the FDA is ignoring the “deeply resourced” research on the product’s application.

This shameful decision is hard proof that no matter how deeply resourced or how meticulous the research in the market application, FDA is hellbent to arbitrarily crush the most widely used vaping products preferred by adult Americans.

Some companies still have applications for menthol products under pending review by the FDA. Juul could prolong the denial orders by filing an appeal or suing the agency.

Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Sheena Robertson


The Washington Post: FDA orders Juul e-cigarettes off the market, citing insufficient and conflicting data; by Laurie McGinley
The Wall Street Journal: FDA to Order Juul E-Cigarettes Off U.S. Market
The Washington Post: FDA facing demands to snuff out Juul’s e-cigarettes; by Laurie McGinley

Featured, Top, and Inset Image Courtesy of HS You’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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