Vaping Crackdown Continues With FDA Ban on Juul Products

The agency ordered the e-cig giant to stop selling its device and pods

Packages of Juul e-cigarettes are displayed for sale in the Brazil Outlet shop on June 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
The FDA has ordered Juul to stop selling its vape products in the U.S.
Mario Tama via Getty

Is this the end of an era?

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul, the e-cigarette giant, to stop selling its products in the U.S. market. This includes the Juul vaping devices themselves as well as the pods they use. 

After a nearly two-year review of data Juul provided in an attempt to continue selling its products, the FDA concluded that the company “had provided insufficient and conflicting data about potentially harmful chemicals that could leach out of Juul’s proprietary e-liquid pods,” according to The New York Times. Michele Mital, the acting director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said that Juul “left us with significant questions” when it comes to the safety and quality of their products. “Without the data needed to determine relevant health risks, the FDA is issuing these marketing denial orders,” Mital added, per CNN.

The rise in vaping and e-cigarette use, primarily amongst teenagers and young adults, has created another generation of nicotine users after anti-smoking campaigns made cigarettes less appealing to younger people. While Juul has marketed itself as safer and healthier than smoking, the vaping pods themselves contain high levels of nicotine. One 5% nicotine Juul pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. As CNBC explains, this federal crackdown is partially due the high use among young people: “In 2019, federal data found that more than one in four high school students had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, up from 11.7% just two years prior.” The complete health risks of vaping aren’t clear, due to the relative infancy of vaping and e-cig products. 

The FDA’s decision is likely to hurt the company’s defense in court, as it currently faces lawsuits “from a dozen states and Washington over allegations that it marketed its products to minors and played a major role in the vaping epidemic,” per CNBC.

But what does this mean for people who use Juul products? According to the FDA, this ruling only pertains to the “commercial distribution, importation and retail sales of these products” and does not in any way “restrict individual consumer possession or use.” Additionally, Juul says it will appeal the decision.

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