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FDA bans Juul e-cigarettes tied to teen vaping surge


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WASHINGTON — Federal well being officers on Thursday ordered Juul to tug its digital cigarettes from the U.S. market, the newest blow to the embattled firm broadly blamed for sparking a nationwide surge in teen vaping.

The motion is a part of a sweeping effort by the Food and Drug Administration to carry scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping business after years of regulatory delays.

Parents, politicians and anti-tobacco advocates wished a ban on the units that many blame for the rise in underage vaping. Supporters say they may help people who smoke reduce on common cigarettes.

The FDA famous that Juul could have performed a “disproportionate″ role in the rise in teen vaping and its application didn’t have enough evidence to show that marketing its products “would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.”

The company has granted some e-cigarette functions. Since final fall, the company has given its OK to tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes from R.J. Reynolds, Logic and different corporations.

But business gamers and anti-tobacco advocates have complained that these merchandise account for only a tiny p.c of the $6 billion vaping market within the U.S.

Regulators repeatedly delayed making selections on units from market leaders, together with Juul, which stays the best-selling vaping model though gross sales have dipped.

Last 12 months, the company rejected functions for greater than one million different e-cigarettes and associated merchandise, primarily as a consequence of their potential enchantment to underage teenagers.

To keep available on the market, corporations should present that their merchandise profit public well being. In follow, meaning proving that grownup people who smoke who use the merchandise are more likely to stop or scale back their smoking, whereas teenagers are unlikely to get hooked on them.

E-cigarettes first appeared within the U.S. greater than a decade in the past with the promise of offering people who smoke a much less dangerous different. The units warmth a nicotine answer right into a vapor that’s inhaled, bypassing most of the poisonous chemical substances produced by burning tobacco.

But research have reached conflicting outcomes about whether or not they actually assist people who smoke stop. And efforts by the FDA to rule on vaping merchandise and their claims had been repeatedly slowed by business lobbying and competing political pursuits.

The vaping market grew to incorporate lots of of corporations promoting an array of units and nicotine options in varied flavors and strengths.

The vaping subject took on new urgency in 2018 when Juul’s high-nicotine, fruity-flavored cartridges rapidly grew to become a nationwide craze amongst center and highschool college students. The firm faces a slew of federal and state investigations into its early advertising practices, which included distributing free Juul merchandise at concert events and events hosted by younger influencers.

In 2019, the corporate was pressured into halting all promoting and eliminating its fruit and dessert flavors. The subsequent 12 months, the FDA restricted flavors in small vaping units to simply tobacco and menthol. Separately, Congress raised the acquisition age for all tobacco and vaping merchandise to 21.

But the query of whether or not e-cigarettes ought to stay available on the market in any respect remained.

The FDA has been working beneath a court docket order to render its selections; anti-tobacco teams efficiently sued the company to hurry up its evaluation.

FDA regulators warned corporations for years they must submit rigorous, long-term information displaying a transparent profit for people who smoke who swap to vaping. But all however the largest e-cigarette producers have resisted conducting that sort of costly, time-consuming analysis.

While Juul stays a high vendor, a latest federal survey exhibits that teen have been shifting away from the corporate. Last 12 months’s survey confirmed Juul was the fourth hottest e-cigarette amongst excessive schoolers who commonly vape. The hottest model was a disposable e-cigarette referred to as Puff Bar that is available in flavors like pink lemonade, strawberry and mango. That firm’s disposable e-cigarettes had been in a position to skirt regulation as a result of they use artificial nicotine, which till lately was exterior the FDA’s jurisdiction. Congress lately closed that loophole.

Overall, the survey confirmed a drop of almost 40% within the teen vaping fee as many children had been pressured to be taught from dwelling throughout the pandemic. Still, federal officers cautioned about deciphering the outcomes given they had been collected on-line for the primary time, as an alternative of in school rooms.

The brainchild of two Stanford University college students, Juul launched in 2015 and inside two years rocketed to the highest of the vaping market. Juul, which is partially owned by tobacco big Altria, nonetheless accounts for almost 50% of the U.S. e-cigarette market. It as soon as managed greater than 75%.

On Tuesday, the FDA additionally laid out plans to ascertain a most nicotine degree for sure tobacco merchandise to scale back their addictiveness. In that announcement, the company additionally famous that it has invested in a multimedia public training marketing campaign aimed toward warning younger individuals concerning the potential dangers of e-cigarette use.


AP Health Writer Tom Murphy contributed to this report.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely answerable for all content material.

FDA bans Juul e-cigarettes tied to teen vaping surge.
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