FDA Juul Ban Explained – Why Biden’s Administration Reports Bans E-Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to take Juul e-cigarettes off the market in the United States, three years after the company stopped selling fruit and sweet flavors after being accused of targeting minors.

The news has already been reported The Wall Street Journal On Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter. According to the newspaper, the Food and Drug Administration may announce its decision this week. NEWSWEEK Contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Juul for comment.

Why Ban Juul?

Founded in 2015 and now headquartered in Washington, D.C., Juul has quickly become the most popular e-cigarette brand in the US – now second only to Reynolds’ Vuse brand, thanks to a massive social media campaign that launched its products on the national market.

Juul – which looks a bit like a USB flash drive – is very popular among teens and is considered something of a teen status symbol. Its appeal to young people, which has raised concerns about reversing the long-term decline in the number of young people picking up smoking, is the first thing that got the company into trouble with the Food and Drug Administration.

The federal agency began researching Juul products four years ago, spurred on by accusations that the company’s sweet, fruity-flavored products, combined with Juul’s impressive marketing strategy, encouraged people to pick up e-cigarettes rather than quit smoking.

Since then, the company has been trying to adapt to the scrutiny of regulators and the public, stopping the sale of sweet and fruity flavors in 2019 and voluntarily closing its Facebook and Instagram accounts. Sweet and fruity e-cigarette cartridges were completely banned by the Food and Drug Administration in 2020.

But concerns remain about how safe Juul’s e-cigarettes are compared to conventional tobacco. The nicotine content in Juul’s e-cigarettes is still very high, and its effect on e-cigarette health has not yet been properly evaluated.

In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required all e-cigarette manufacturers in the United States to submit data on their products to the agency for a review of whether they should remain on the market. Juul has requested to continue selling its tobacco flavored products, 3 percent menthol and 5 percent nicotine.

Juul agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million last year and change its business practices in the state in a settlement reached after regulators blamed the company for the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes among teens.

Juul Labs, which is 35 percent owned by Marlboro maker Altria, says on its website that it is “committed to helping adult smokers stay away from combustible cigarettes, while also combating the serious problem of minor use.”

Is Juul the only e-cigarette company affected?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously paved the way for Reynolds American Inc. and NJOY Holdings Inc. Juul’s biggest competitor – to keep tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes on the market, leading industry watchers to expect similar approval for Juul.

But big changes are expected to rock the market soon, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April announcing plans to ban all menthol-flavored e-cigarettes in the United States, a move the agency said would reduce youth initiation, deaths, and tobacco-related illnesses.

The FDA is also planning to cap the level of nicotine in cigarettes, looking to make them less addictive because tobacco-related deaths remain the number one preventable cause of death in the country.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Food and Drug Administration is preparing to remove Juul’s products from the US market. In this photo, Juul e-cigarette packages are on sale at a Brazil Outlet on June 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

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