Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
Recognizing what it called “the troubling reality” that electronic cigarettes have become “wildly popular with kids,” the Food and Drug Administration on April 24 announced a major crackdown on the vaping industry, particularly on the trendy Juul devices, aimed at curbing sales to young people (Source: “FDA Cracks Down on ‘Juuling’ Among Teenagers,” New York Times, April 24, 2018).
Nicknamed the iPhone of e-cigarettes, Juuls resemble thumb drives, produce little plume, and smell like fruit or other flavorings, making them so concealable that students can vape in class.
The agency said it had started an undercover sting operation in April targeting retailers of Juuls, including gas stations, convenience stores, and online retailers like eBay. So far, the FDA has issued warning letters to 40 that it says violated the law preventing sales of vaping devices to anyone under 21.
The agency also demanded that Juul Labs turn over company documents about the marketing and research behind its products, including reports on focus groups and toxicology, to determine whether Juul is intentionally appealing to the youth market despite its statements to the contrary and despite knowing its addictive potential. It said it planned to issue similar letters to other manufacturers of popular vaping products as well.