FDA's Juul Ban Prompts Support, Opposition and Questions

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Federal authorities have ordered Juul to remove its products from the U.S. market.

The FDA said there’s no information suggesting there’s an immediate risk to using Juul products. But the company is supposed to stop selling and distributing them.

“Today, we are like making calls. Do we take them off? Do we not take them off?” said Steve Heard, West Haven Vapors owner.

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Heard was scrambling to figure out what to do with the Juul products at his store in West Haven It comes after the FDA announced it was banning the sale of Juul e-cigarettes in the U.S.

“Our big fear is where does the FDA go next? Do they go after the whole vaping industry?” Heard said.

Juul had been seeking FDA approval for its vaping device and certain pods, but the agency reports the applications lacked enough details or had conflicting data about the potential risks.

In a statement, Juul said it disagreed with the FDA’s decision and wrote in part:

“We intend to seek a stay and are exploring all of our options under the FDA’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator.”

The ban is part of the FDA’s wider review of the vaping industry following pressure for it to regulate it as strictly as other tobacco products amid a big increase in young people vaping.

“The two concerns obviously are for people who have underlying issues that sometimes, it can be an irritant in the airway. And then, of course, the gateway to, you know, other substance abuse,” said Dr. Christina Johns, PM Pediatrics senior medical advisor.

A few years ago, a study found more than a quarter of high school students reported vaping in the past month, though that has dropped to about 11% last year.

At West Haven Vapors, Heard said they make sure only people age 21 and over buy the products, which he believes can have a beneficial use.

“If you don’t smoke, don’t vape. Our industry was built on getting people to quit smoking,” Heard said.

Attorney General William Tong applauded the FDA order.

Connecticut is leading a multistate investigation into Juul about several issues including concerns marketing was targeted toward kids.

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