FDA Pulls JUUL Vapes from Shelves – JUUL Appeals Against
The FDA hopes the move can help curb under-age vapers in the US
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has spent two years reviewing information regarding JUUL and the rise in youth vaping in the US. After much deliberation and research, they decided that all JUUL products must be pulled from shelves for “the protection of public health.” On the 23rd of July, all JUUL products were technically banned in the US but as of the time of writing this article, JUUL is still available to be bought in many places while they repeal the order. The FDA have confirmed recently that ‘there are scientific issues unique to the JUUL application that warrant additional review.’ For now, JUUL is safe.
Who are JUUL and why did this happen in the first place?
If you are unaware of the vaping brand, JUUL Labs is a vape company from the US that is mainly known for its disposable pod kits. Founded in 2015, JUUL quickly rose to the top of the US vaping market due to its innovative design and use of nicotine salts. By 2019 however, there were reports of rising teenage vaping and the FDA noted that JUUL was the most popular choice for this age group.
This sparked a huge movement in 2020 as the FDA decreed that companies had to submit their E-Cigarette products to provide evidence that they create less harm than smoking. Very few brands have made it through the process and received a green light. To combat this restriction, many brands had to remove flavoured vapes from their ranges as it was argued that they were appealing to children.
When the news first hit, JUUL released a statement stating, “We respectfully disagree with the FDA’s findings and decision and continue to believe we have provided sufficient information and data based on high-quality research to address all issues raised by the agency.” It clearly worked as the FDA has since retracted the product recall while further evidence is investigated, but there is still a stay on marketing said products. However, this hasn’t stopped JUUL or other vape brands from selling on shelves in the US.
Is the problem JUUL or is it the lack of regulation in the US?
In the US before the crackdown on E-Cigarettes, vaping was largely unregulated. This wasn’t helped by the fact that different states had their own legislation on the matter. Products could be marketed just like any other, products were not strictly tested to ensure their safety and the market was rife with high nicotine strengths. Even with some of the recent changes this last year, many of the regulations are lax compared to other countries like the UK.
For example, in the US, nicotine strengths have no limit which means some products can contain up to 59mg/ml of nicotine. That’s a lot of nicotine and certainly higher than the max strength in the UK. And the same disparity can be seen with advertising regulations where in the US, vaping products are allowed to be advertised through social media and TV, whereas in the UK it is strictly regulated. Even when vaping adverts are permitted in the UK, there is strict guidance on who these can be targeted. Could this be one of the reasons why we just don’t see the same rates of under-age vaping in the UK, as seen in the US?
Do we need to worry about vapes being banned in the UK?
In short, the answer is very simply no. In the UK, vaping is regarded as a helpful alternative for smokers that can help them quit the habit. The UK government and NHS (National Health Service) continue to show support for vaping as a smoking cessation tool and hope that with it, we can reach the Smoke-Free target by 2030.
UK manufactured vape brands adhere to UK guidelines and any that don’t, aren’t legally allowed to be sold in the UK. Recently, more illicit vapes have begun to crop up in the UK, forcing local councils to act by raiding vape stores for their illicit stock. If unchecked, illicit vapes could potentially harm the UK’s stance on vaping.
What do you think; was the FDA right to try and pull JUUL? And do you think the UK would ever consider banning vapes? Let us know in the comments below…