FDA Weighs Controversial BAN – But Is It Really a Good Move?
(USNewsBreak.com) – The FDA has had a rocky relationship with the e-cigarette company Juul. The latest move was banning the company from selling its products because it failed to prove they were beneficial to the public. After a trip to court, the FDA is stepping back from the decision but maintains it feels Juul is only feeding the youth vaping epidemic, giving the impression the agency is far from done going after the company.
Two Orders and a Murky Result
On June 23, the FDA put in force marketing denial orders, which prohibit the marketing, selling, or distributing of products against Juul Labs Inc. The agency said the company failed to provide sufficient evidence that the company helps adult smokers stop using tobacco products and does not entice underage users.
Juul immediately appealed the order. The court issued a stay, or suspension, on June 24.
The FDA abided by the court’s ruling on July 5 but said it will continue to review the information Juul submitted. The organization also issued its own stay on on the order, prompting both sides to put any potential legal battles on hold.
Juul contended that it meets all FDA requirements and will continue to provide its products to consumers while the agency reconsiders.
The FDA has long fought against Juul, saying the company is fueling the teen vaping epidemic. However, experts are unsure if the FDA can prove JUUL aids in teens taking up vaping, according to a July 17 report from The Hill.
Critics say these products entice juveniles to start the habit. Juul initially sold flavored pods, but the FDA banned them in 2020, claiming that they were too appealing to youth.
The company was once a leader in the market, but many other companies now are taking a large share of the profits. The 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed juveniles using e-cigarettes preferred Puff Bar at 26.8%, Vuse at 10.5%, and SMOK at 8.6% over JUUL at 6.8%
The current market trend leads experts to think pulling Juul isn’t likely to have a considerable impact. According to The Hill, the director of the University of Michigan’s Tobacco Research Network, Clifford Douglas, explained that Juul may have once helped fuel the teen vaping issue, but over the years they have “changed their conduct.”
Still, some want Juul shut down. The Hill also reports that Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes says Juul created the problem of kids using these products. The organization reportedly believes taking the brand out of circulation is an effective way to let the industry know they cannot continue marketing to teens.
What’s the Right Decision?
Juul said in a court filing that it believes the FDA is targeting just this one company. Juul claimed that the FDA keeps approving other companies’ products while continuously lashing out against it.
Then there are the adult smokers caught in the middle. According to the FDA, they should change to a different brand that is approved by them.
It is worth noting that the largest study exploring whether or not e-cigs help people quit smoking showed that they helped 18% of people, while nicotine replacement products helped 9.9% participants. The study concluded that e-cigarettes had a greater benefit for those trying to quit smoking than nicotine replacement therapy, when both methods were “accompanied by behavioral support.”
Could the FDA’s decisions help stop kids from taking up the habit? Or is it a fight against legal adult users who may lose the tool they need to stay away from tobacco?
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