SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Juul e-cigarettes to be pulled from the United States market. The decision to ban Juul e-cigarettes is a major step in the fight against the underage vaping epidemic, to which Juul is pegged to be a main contributor.
Juul will have to stop the selling and distribution of its devices and four types of pods, including tobacco and menthol flavors. The decision comes as the brand lacked data and evidence in the assessment of their potential health risks in a review sent to the FDA back in 2020.
Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says Juul is almost single-handedly the cause for the nationwide youth vaping epidemic.
“They introduced a sleek product, with flavors that appealed to kids, that delivered massive doses of nicotine,” said Myers. ” [They] used marketing to make it the great new cool product.”
Juul Labs is an e-cigarette brand aimed to “provide adult smokers an alternative to combustible cigarettes.” According to their website, they “do not want any non-nicotine users, especially those underage, to try [their] products, as they exist only to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes.”
Despite this, smoke shops in Syracuse, like Exscape Smoke Shop on Marshall Street, say that college-aged students make up a majority of their customers. Doug Carpenter, manager of the shop, says the ban will hurt stores like his.
“At the end of the day, I don’t believe that those customers won’t be able to get [e-cigarettes],” said Carpenter. “I think if anything, that law is going to make it more difficult for of-age consumers, meaning somebody who is going to use it regardless.”
Not everyone is on board with the banning of Juul products. Juul user Ashley Khor says she’ll have to stock up on Juuls before she finds another alternative.
“Personally as a smoker, whether that’s good or bad, we see e-cigs and vapes as something that’s less smelly, less intrusive to smoke around other people,” said Khor. “So that’s a bit devastating I think for the smoking community.”
In a statement released earlier in the day, Juul Labs said the company will consider appealing the FDA ruling.