Federal officials today banned the sale of thousands of electronic cigarettes but delayed making a decision on whether to allow the popular brand Juul to remain on the market.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that applications for nearly 950,000 mostly flavored e-cigarettes were denied, primarily due to their attractiveness to underage teens. Some of the banned products are already for sale, but many others have only been proposed. The agency, however, failed to rule on Juul, the most popular brand with adult smokers and many teens.
Agency said it needs more time
For years, parents, politicians and anti-tobacco advocates have urged the FDA to ban Juul’s high-nicotine devices, but the agency said it needs more time. Many people blame Juul for the recent spike in underage vaping. In making its announcement, the agency noted that 80% of teens and children who vape use flavored products.
The FDA faced a court deadline today to issue decisions on marketing applications from Juul and hundreds of other companies. A federal judge issued the deadline after anti-tobacco groups successfully sued the FDA to speed up its review.
To remain on the market, companies must show that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. In reality, it’s predicted that adult smokers who use the products are likely to quit, while teens are unlikely to get addicted to them.
Delay criticized by advocacy groups
The delay was immediately criticized by anti-vaping groups such as Parents Against Underage Vaping of E-cigarettes for failing to act.
Juul has nearly half of the $4 billion U.S. market, even though sales have fallen dramatically in recent times. Many experts agree that the chemicals contained in e-cigarette vapor can cause harm to users.