Update 6/23/22: It's official. The Food and Drug Administration has officially ordered all Juul products to be taken off the market.
"As a result, the company must stop selling and distributing these products. In addition, those currently on the U.S. market must be removed, or risk enforcement action," the FDA said in a statement. The agency has ordered Juul to cease the sale and distribution of their tobacco and menthol pods, having determined that "insufficient and conflicting data — including regarding genotoxicity and potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the company's proprietary e-liquid pods — that have not been adequately addressed."
The FDA went on to say that "as with all manufacturers, JUUL had the opportunity to provide evidence demonstrating that the marketing of their products meets these standards. However, the company did not provide that evidence and instead left us with significant questions. Without the data needed to determine relevant health risks, the FDA is issuing these marketing denial orders."
Don't bother looking for that Juul you lost at your friend's place... or was it that bar you went to, or, in the bottom of your backup Telfar, or in that Uber from the ride home... because the US Food and Drug administration is looking to effectively ban the popular e-cigarette brand from stores across the country.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the FDA is poised to announce an order to stop any further sale of Juuls in the US for foreseeable future. The decision comes two years after the company sought to reapply for approval to sell their line of nicotine pods, which they still contend are a better alternative for general public health than traditional tobacco products.
Juul has faced heavy scrutiny and been investigated by federal regulators for trying to appeal to teens and younger audiences correlating with vaping's growing popularity among the age range. Juul had previously tried to appease government authorities and halt the growing tide of lawsuits by getting rid of their sweet and fruit-flavored pods but judging from this latest news it hasn't been enough.
First introduced in the mid 2010s, Juul quickly grew to be the nation's leading e-cigarette brand by 2017 with is small compact design and variety of interchangeable flavored pods. While the e-cigs have been marketed as a better alternative to traditional carcinogenic cigarettes, vaping has been attributed to a variety of lung ailments that have resulted in numerous hospitalizations and deaths. The American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all lobbied the FDA to get Juul banned as a result.
Just last year, Juul reached a $40 million settlement with the state of North Carolina over marketing campaigns that they alleged specifically targeted young people. “For years Juul targeted young people, including teens, with highly addictive e-cigarettes,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “It lit the spark and fanned the flames of a vaping epidemic among our children — one that you can see in any high school in North Carolina.”
Ahead of the news that Juul might be pulled from the market, stock prices for Altria Group Inc., which has a 35% stake in Juul Labs Inc., were already down by 8% with the company's overall valuation having dwindled to in recent years from roughly $37 billion to just $1.6 billion earlier this year.
Photo via Getty/ Bill O'Leary/ The Washington Post