The recent F.D.A.-imposed rule will prohibit Juul from selling electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine pods inside the United States.
The federal Food and Drug Administration has ordered Juul to stop selling electronic cigarettes in the United States.
According to The New York Times, the F.D.A.’s order affects all of Juul’s products currently available in the domestic market, including both electronic cigarettes and so-called “vape pods.”
Juul, notes the New York Times, was widely criticized for its advertising tactics, which purportedly targeted underage teenagers and young adults. When sales of Juul products began to peak, researchers found that minors were reporting increased nicotine use.
While Juul has faced growing competition, it continued to dominate the e-cigarette market.
Juul’s dominance, suggests the New York Times, attracted intense scrutiny from federal regulators and state-level health agencies.
However, the F.D.A.’s official decision makes little mention of underage nicotine abuse. The guidance instead opines that there is insufficient and conflicting data about the safety of Juul’s liquid-based nicotine cartridges.
Although the Food and Drug Administration said it does not believe there is an imminent health risk, officials said they simply do not have adequate evidence to assess Juul’s potential risks.
F.D.A. Commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf released a statement explaining that the federal government is committed to consumer safety.
“Today’s action is further progress on the F.D.A.’s commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarette and electronic nicotine delivery system products currently being marketed to consumers meet our public health standards,” Dr. Califf said, adding that Juul and similar products have likely contributed to the remarkable rise in rates of youth nicotine abuse.
However, the Times remarks that it could take years for the F.D.A.’s new regulations to take effect, as they will likely face significant pushback from the powerful tobacco lobby.
Juul itself has said that it intends to challenge and appeal the agency’s decision.
“We intend to seek a stay [of the new regulations],” Juul said in a statement. “[We] are exploring all of our options under the F.D.A.’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator.”
Other industry organizations have also criticized the regulation.
The American Vapor Manufacturers Association, for instance, told The New York Times that the federal government is effectively curtailing adults’ access to products believed to be safer than ordinary, combustible tobacco.
“Measured in lives lost and potential destroyed, F.D.A.’s staggering indifference to ordinary Americans and their right to switch to the vastly safer alternative of vaping will surely rank as one of the greatest episodes of regulatory malpractice in American history,” A.V.M.A. President Amanda Wheeler said.
Nevertheless, public health advocacy groups have applauded the F.D.A.’s move against the electronic cigarette industry, calling the new rule “long overdue.”
“The F.D.A.’s decision to remove all Juul products from the marketplace is both most welcomed and long overdue,” said Erika Sward, national assistant president of advocacy for the American Lung Association. “Juul’s campaign to target and hook kids on tobacco has gone on for far too long.”