A vaping company has been blocked from selling e-cigarettes in the US after it was found to have played a ‘disproportionate role in the rise of youth vaping’.
The decision was made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the company, Juul Labs Inc, submitted scientific and health data regarding its nicotine products for review.
The data, collected over nearly two years, showed a “lack of sufficient evidence” that Juul’s products provided a net
benefit to public health.
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement, “We recognize that these make up a significant portion of the products available and many have played a disproportionate role in increasing youth vaping.”
The decision was called a potentially fatal blow for the San Francisco-based company.
E-cigarette use among teens accelerated as Juul began to gain popularity in 2017 and 2018, according to a US federal survey.
About 27.5% of high school students vaped in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017.
However, the number fell to 11.3% in 2021 according to the research, carried out for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the most recent data on youth e-cigarette use cannot be compared to previous years due to changes in the way the survey was conducted over the course of the year. covid pandemicthe researchers said.
Juul, along with other e-cigarette brands – including Imperial Brands Plc-owned Blu, and British American Tobacco Plc’s Vuse – have been given a September 2020 deadline to submit applications to the FDA.
The health agency then had to judge whether each product encouraged smokers to quit.
The extent to which the product helped people quit the habit was weighed against the potential harm to the health of new e-cigarette users who had never smoked, including teenagers.
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Juul has yet to respond to requests for comment, but US reports suggest it is likely to appeal the decision.
E-cigarette makers have been selling products in the United States for years without official FDA clearance.
The FDA banned all flavors except tobacco and menthol for cartridge e-cigarettes, including those produced by Juul, in 2020.
Juul withdrew all other flavors, including mint and mango, after tougher regulations and an outcry from anti-tobacco activists.
The FDA decision saw shares of Altria Group, which owns a 35% stake in Juul, plunge 9%.
It comes like President Joe BidenThe administration is committed to finding alternatives to help people quit smoking to reduce preventable cancer deaths.
The White House this week unveiled proposals for a rule on a maximum level of nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them less addictive.
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