Why did the FDA ban Juul products? What to know about the latest response to vaping concerns

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  • In making the decision, the FDA cited “insufficient and conflicting data” from Juul.
  • The move is part of the FDA’s wider review of the vaping industry.
  • Juul has been scrutinized over concerns that its marketing targeted youth.

Juul users will no longer find the sleek vapes in store shelves. 

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday banned the sale of Juul Labs vaping products in the U.S., citing “insufficient and conflicting data.”

The decision, part of the agency’s broader review of the vaping industry, comes as a blow to the giant that has been scrutinized over concerns that its marketing campaign targeted youth. 

“The agency has dedicated significant resources to review products from the companies that account for most of the U.S. market,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said in a statement. “We recognize these make up a significant part of the available products and many have played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping.”

►Juul ban: FDA bans Juul’s vapes, pods citing ‘conflicting’ data on potentially harmful chemicals

Why did the FDA ban Juul products?

The Juul ban follows a two-year review of the company’s applications to continue selling its e-cigarette device and menthol and tobacco pre-filled cartridges.

The agency denied the applications, saying they “lacked sufficient evidence regarding the toxicological profile of the products to demonstrate that marketing of the products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.”

The FDA said it hasn’t received information to suggest an immediate hazard associated with the use of Juul products, but “there is insufficient evidence to assess the potential toxicological risks of using the JUUL products.” 

“As with all manufacturers, JUUL had the opportunity to provide evidence demonstrating that the marketing of their products meets these standards,” Michele Mital, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement. “However, the company did not provide that evidence and instead left us with significant questions.”

►Teen substance abuse: Drug and alcohol use among US teens saw record decline in 2021, survey finds

What products does the decision apply to?

The ban applies to all Juul products on the U.S. market. The FDA ordered Juul to stop selling and distributing its products and said “those currently on the U.S. market must be removed, or risk enforcement action.”

The FDA said retailers should contact the vaping giant with any questions regarding Juul products in their inventory. 

The agency can’t enforce individual consumer possession or use of the company’s e-cigarettes and pods, as the FDA’s marketing denial orders only apply to commercial distribution and retail sales.

►RJ Reynolds vaping device: FDA OKs first e-cigarette, Vuse, a device from RJ Reynolds, citing benefit to smokers

What does the ban mean for other vapes? 

The FDA has been reviewing vaping products sold in the U.S. and has cracked down on the industry amid concerns over a rise in youth vaping. 

In 2020, the agency required vaping companies to submit applications to continue marketing products. Officials also banned the sale of fruit and mint flavored pods.

The FDA in September banned the sale of hundreds of thousands of vaping and e-cigarette products. 

The agency recommended Juul users or cigarette smokers that want to switch to e-cigarettes consider other products that have been authorized.

What vape products are FDA approved?

In 2021, the FDA authorized the marketing of an e-cigarette—R.J. Reynolds’ Vuse Solo — for the first time.

Here are some other vaping products that have been approved for sale since then:

  • Vuse Ciro manufactured by RJ Reynolds
  • Vuse Vibe manufactured by RJ Reynolds
  • NJOY ACE manufactured by NJOY LLC
  • NJOY’s DAILY Extra Rich Tobacco manufactured by NJOY LLC
  • Logic Pro manufactured by Logic Technology Development LLC
  • Logic Power manufactured by Logic Technology Development LLC

What are advocates saying?

Anti-vaping advocates cheered the FDA’s decision.

 “Juul, more than any other product or company, has been responsible for creating and fueling the youth e-cigarette epidemic,” Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement. “The impact of this decision will be substantial because Juul products continue to be widely used by youth.”

More than 2 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in a 2021 survey by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey shows youth vaping has declined since 2019, but the CDC said “use of tobacco products by youths in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe.” 

Meanwhile, vaping advocates have denounced the FDA’s efforts to regulate the industry.

“It seems apparent that FDA is on a wildly irresponsible warpath to outlaw virtually all vaping products,” Jim McCarthy, spokesperson for the the American Vapor Manufacturers association, told USA Today.

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