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Juul e-cigs could be taken off the market as early as today

June 22, 2022, 3:08 PM UTC

E-cigarettes from Juul Labs could be taken off the market in the U.S. as early as Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce the decision after a two-year review of data from Juul, which was pushing to keep its vapes on store shelves, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The expected move comes as something of a surprise after the FDA’s clearance of tobacco-flavored e-cigs from Juul rivals Reynolds American and NJOY Holdings. Juul will be able to appeal the ruling to both the FDA and the court system.

The ruling was originally expected last September.

E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. more than a decade ago with the promise of being a less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. The devices heat a nicotine solution into a vapor that’s inhaled. But there has been little rigorous study of whether the e-cigarettes truly help smokers quit.

Juul has been in the spotlight for four years and was one of the first e-cigarette companies to come under fire. Officials blamed it for the rise in underage vaping, due to its advertising and sweet/fruity flavors. It did away with those flavors three years ago.

Juul, as of last fall, accounted for nearly half of the $4 billion U.S. market but sales have fallen sharply from when the company controlled more than 75%.

Assuming the ruling is handed down Wednesday, it will come on the same day that the White House unveiled plans that would lower the level of nicotine in cigarettes sold in the U.S. to minimal levels, to combat nicotine addiction in the U.S.

The initiative is part of the Biden administration’s goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years, as part of the president’s Cancer Moonshot campaign. It is, however, likely to face opposition, perhaps politically and almost certainly in court by tobacco companies. And it could take up to a year for the FDA to craft the rule’s language.

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