The marketing denial order covers all the company’s products in the United States, which means Juul must stop distributing the products and remove everything on the market. That includes the Juul device and flavor replacement pods in the tobacco and menthol flavors.
“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,” Robert Califf, MD, the FDA commissioner, said in the announcement.
“The agency has dedicated significant resources to review products from the companies that account for most of the U.S. market,” he said. “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.”
The marketing denial order covers only the commercial distribution and retail sale of Juul’s products and doesn’t restrict consumer possession or use. The FDA “cannot and will not” enforce actions against consumers, the agency said.
The order comes after a 2-year review of the company’s application seeking authorization to continue selling non–fruit-flavored products, such as menthol and tobacco. The FDA determined the application “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.”
Some of Juul’s study findings raised concerns because of “insufficient and conflicting data,” the FDA said, including potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the Juul liquid replacement pods.
“To date, the FDA has not received clinical information to suggest an immediate hazard associated with the use of the JUUL device or JUUL pods,” the agency said. “However, the [orders] issued today reflect FDA’s determination that there is insufficient evidence to assess the potential toxicological risks of using the JUUL products.”
In recent years, the FDA has reviewed marketing applications from Juul and other e-cigarette companies as anti-tobacco groups have called for new rules to limit products that led to a surge in youthduring the past decade. At the same time, advocates of e-cigarettes and nicotine-delivery devices have said the products help adult smokers to quit cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Juul, in particular, has been blamed for fueling the surge in underage . The company removed sweet and fruity flavors from shelves in 2019 and has been trying to repair its reputation by limiting its marketing and focusing on adult cigarette smokers. o The Wall Street Journaldue to fruity flavors and hip marketing, according
In 2020, all e-cigarette manufacturers in the United States were required to submit their products for FDA review to stay on the market, the newspaper reported. The agency has been weighing the potential benefits for adult cigarette smokers against the harms for young people.
The FDA banned the sale of fruit- and mint-flavored cartridges and juice pods in 2020, but menthol and tobacco-flavored products were left on the market, according . In September 2021, the agency also banned the sale of hundreds of thousands of vaping and e-cigarette products but didn’t rule on Juul. USA Today
Meanwhile, the FDA has cleared Reynolds American and NJOY Holdings – two of Juul’s biggest rivals – to keep tobacco-flavored products on the market. Industry experts expected Juul to receive similar clearance, the Journal reported.
Juul, which was at the top of the U.S. e-cigarette market in 2018, has moved to second place behind Reynolds’s Vuse brand, the newspaper reported. The United States represents most of the company’s revenue, though its products are also available in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Philippines.
Underage vaping has fallen in the United States since federal restrictions raised the legal purchase age for tobacco products to 21 and banned the sale of sweet and fruity cartridges, according to the Journal. Juul’s popularity has also dropped among youth, with other products such as Puff Bar, Vuse, and Smok becoming more popular among e-cigarette users in high school.
In a separate decision, the FDA is also moving forward with a plan to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The decision, which has been years in the making, is aimed at prompting millions of cigarette users to or switch to alternatives such as e-cigarettes, as well as limit the number of users who pick up smoking at an early age.
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