A vaping company has been blocked from selling e-cigarettes in the US after it was found to have played a “disproportionate role in the rise of youth vaping.”
The ruling was made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the firm, Juul Labs Inc, submitted scientific and health data regarding its nicotine products for review.
The data, gathered over almost two years, showed a “lack of sufficient evidence” that Juul’s products provided a net
benefit to public health.
FDA commissioner, Robert Califf, said in a statement on Thursday: “We recognise these make up a significant part of the available products and many have played a disproportionate role in the rise in youth vaping.”
The decision has been branded a potentially fatal blow for the San Francisco based firm.
Teenage e-cigarette use accelerated as Juul began to gain popularity in 2017 and 2018, a US federal survey found.
Around 27.5% of high school students vaped in 2019 compared to 11.7% in 2017.
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However, the number dropped to 11.3% in 2021, according to the research.
Juul, together with other e-cigarette brands – including British American Tobacco Plc’s Vuse and Blu, owned by Imperial Brands Plc – were given a deadline of September 2020 to submit applications to the FDA.
The health agency then had to judge whether each product encouraged smokers to quit.
How much the product helped people stub out their habit was weighed against potential health damage to new e-cigarette users who had never smoked – including teenagers.
Juul has not yet responded to requests for comment but US reports suggest it is likely to appeal the decision.
E-cigarette makers have been selling products in the US for years without official FDA authorisation.