The Food and Drug Administration ordered JUUL products off the U.S. market Thursday morning.
The vaping company must stop selling or distributing its JUUL device and four types of JUULpods and remove those already on shelves. The agency noted that the market denial order only affects commercial distribution, importation and retail sales, and not individual consumer possession of JUUL products.
The FDA made its decision after reviewing JUUL’s premarket tobacco product applications and determining that they “lacked sufficient evidence regarding the toxicological profile of the products to demonstrate that marketing of the products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.”
The move marks the most significant effort by the federal government to crack down on youth vaping. According to data from SingleCare, 5% of Americans vape and vaping among teens increased 1,800% from 2011 to 2019.
“Today’s action is further progress on the FDA’s commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarette and electronic nicotine delivery system products currently being marketed to consumers meet our public health standards,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D., in a statement. “The agency has dedicated significant resources to review products from the companies that account for most of the U.S. market. We recognize these make up a significant part of the available products and many have played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping.”
For years, the FDA has targeted youth vaping as an agency priority, with former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb calling it an “epidemic” in 2018. In March 2019, Gottlieb sought to restrict flavored e-cigarette sales to teenagers.
Advocates for the vaping community were quick to voice their opposition to the announcement.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, responded to the FDA’s ban by saying the agency relied on “manufactured reasons” to deny JUUL’s PMTAs and calling on the company to sue over the measure.