FDA bans Juul vaporizers from US market

The FDA’s marketing denial order prohibits Juul from selling its vaporizers, Virginia tobacco pods and menthol pods anywhere in the country.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 7:56 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The FDA announced in a press release Thursday that it is banning the sale of Juul products across the U.S., including Michigan.

This includes Juul vaporizers, Juul 5.0% and 3.0% Virginia tobacco pods and Juul 5.0% and 3.0% menthol pods. The FDA added that it believes Juul vaporizers, “have played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping.”

Marc Slis, owner and operator of 906 Vapor in Houghton, Mich., said he disagrees with the FDA’s decision. Slis claimed that youth vaping has decreased by 62% across the nation since 2020. This, despite the sale of Juul products across the country.

“Youth vaping is absolutely not a concern, it is not an epidemic by any stretch of the imagination and most importantly the bulk of those kids who are regularly vaping were first tobacco users,” Slis said.

The FDA cited the CDC’s 2021 National Tobacco Youth Survey released in March 2022. The report shows that out of the 20,413 students who responded, 11.3% of high school students and 2.8% of middle school students claimed they actively used e-cigarettes in the 30 days prior to taking the survey.

The FDA added that it is also concerned about the health risks posed by Juuls. The FDA’s marketing denial order (MDO) states that there is not enough evidence showing the company’s products do not pose a health risk.

Slis said that he disagrees with this claim. Slis estimated that there are over one million Americans who use Juuls or some other type of nicotine vaporizer. Slis added that he believes some of these people will be forced to take risky measures to keep using nicotine now that Juuls are banned for sale.

“We are looking at a health policy that is going to drive those million or so people back to smoking or to a deadly black market,” Slis said. “It is astounding that this is U.S. health policy.”

The FDA countered Slis’s claim, saying that those who are trying to quit smoking can still purchase one of the other 23 e-cigarette products it has authorized.

Slis, however, argued that the FDA’s decision could have negative long-term consequences for the health of nicotine users who could turn back to cigarettes.

“What the FDA is doing is probably going to amount to the largest public health tragedy ever,” Slis emphasized.

Despite banning the sale of Juul vaporizers and pods, the FDA’s MDO does not restrict individuals from owning or consuming Juul products.

Slis said he believes the FDA needs to be held accountable for its Juul ban through a congressional hearing.

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