Juul was ordered Thursday by U.S. health regulators to stop selling its electronic cigarettes in the United States after driving an increase in smoking among teenagers throughout the country.
The FDA’s move is part of a broader push to bring scientific scrutiny to the multi-billion-dollar vaping sector after years of regulatory delays.
Many people, including parents, lawmakers, and anti-tobacco activists, have advocated for a ban on the devices responsible for the growth in the use of e-cigarettes by minors. Proponents claim that these products are effective in decreasing the use of regular cigarettes by those who already smoke.
According to the FDA, Juul may have had a “disproportionate” role in the development of adolescent vaping, and its application did not contain enough evidence to indicate that selling its products “would be suitable for the protection of the public health.”
Some e-cigarette license requests have been approved by the government. Since last autumn, the FDA has approved e-cigarettes flavored with tobacco by R.J. Reynolds, Logic, and other manufacturers. However, industry executives and anti-tobacco groups have argued that such products make up just a small fraction of the $6 billion vaping business in the United States.
While sales of Juul have declined, the brand is still the most popular among vapers, and regulators have repeatedly postponed making judgments on whether or not to approve the devices.
More than a million additional e-cigarettes and similar goods were banned by the FDA last year because of their potential appeal to underage youths.
If a company wants to remain on the market, it must demonstrate that its goods are beneficial to public health. That means demonstrating that adult smokers who use the goods are more likely to stop or cut their smoking than minors are to get dependent on them.
According to an official poll by the US government, there has been an increase in adolescent disinterest in Juul. Among students who frequently vape, a 2017 poll found Juul to be the fourth most popular e-cigarette. Tobacco-flavored disposable electronic cigarettes were the most popular choice, with flavors including strawberry and mango among the most popular. As a result, their disposable e-cigarettes, which employ synthetic nicotine, have been able to evade regulation until recently. This loophole was recently closed by Congress.
Teen vaping rates fell by over 40% overall in the poll, perhaps due to the fact that so many students were forced to study from home due to the epidemic. Though the findings were gathered online for the first time rather than in classrooms, federal authorities warned against interpreting them.
Additionally, the FDA announced on Tuesday that it intends to set a maximum nicotine content for certain tobacco products in order to lessen their appeal as an addictive substance. E-cigarette usage may have serious health consequences, and the FDA wants to make sure that young people are aware of those hazards.