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Juul Warned by FDA Over Marketing Practices

12 September 2019

In a letter to the company's CEO Kevin Burns, the FDA demanded that Juul change its marketing practices or risk being hit with a hefty fine or having its products seized.

The FDA has penned a harsh letter accusing Juul of marketing its products as less harmful than cigarettes.

In response, the agency sent Juul a warning letter over unauthorized marketing as well as a letter of concern (PDF), which included a request for reams of documents "regarding JUUL's marketing, advertising, promotional, and education campaigns, as well as certain product development activity".

The FDA gave JUUL 15 days to respond with a corrective action plan for the illegal marketing activities, and 30 days to provide the documents and information about its broader marketing and product design programs. FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless mentioned in a statement that Juul still should have sought FDA approval prior to the nationwide sale and distribution of its products.

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The letter says Juul "should immediately correct the violations".

The first vaping product to enter the US market was a Ruyan e-cigarette imported by Mark Weiss, founder of e-cigarette company NJOY.

Further, the agency sent an additional letter to JUUL that notes that despite commitments JUUL has made to address this epidemic, JUUL products continue to represent a significant proportion of the overall use of ENDS products by children.

"Common sense says if you do not know what you are smoking, don't smoke it, and right now we don't know what you are smoking in a lot of these vaping substances", the New York Democrat said. The FDA is requesting documents and information about these practices, including any and all scientific evidence or data, such as consumer perception studies, related to whether these statements and representations explicitly or implicitly convey that JUUL products pose less risk, are less harmful, present reduced exposure, are safer than other tobacco products or that the products are smoking cessation products.

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Kelly Henning from Bloomberg Philanthropies and former youth e-cigarette user Phillip Fuhrman are live from NY to explain the action they're taking to address this public health crisis.

Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association, has argued that science demonstrates that flavors are not the reason youth illegally use vaping products, but science shows that flavors play a "critical role" in helping adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes.

Separately, the FDA continues to work closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health partners to investigate the recent respiratory illnesses associated with vaping as quickly as possible and the agency is committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge.

As many as 450 people across 33 US states were hospitalized with lung illnesses related to use of the electronic devices, health officials announced on Saturday. This ought to be closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Juul Warned by FDA Over Marketing Practices