By Cara Murez, Health Day reporter
FRIDAY, Sept. 10, 2021 (HealthDay News) – The United States Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it had rejected claims for nearly one million electronic cigarettes and related products.
But it also delayed a decision on the fate of leading brand of vape products, Juul, sparking an outcry from anti-vaping groups.
Juul products will remain in the market for now, more than 10 years after e-cigarettes began selling in the United States, while the FDA defers its decision to an unspecified later date.
“There is still work to be done to complete our remaining reviews and ensure that we continue to take appropriate action to protect the youth of our country from the dangers of all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes,” said the FDA said in a statement, according to a Associated press report.
The ruling was part of a broader scientific review of the vaping industry under a court-imposed deadline for making rulings on Juul and the other companies. Anti-smoking groups sued the FDA to speed up the review. Efforts to control products had previously been hampered by lobbying from industry and competing political interests, the PA reports.
Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, hailed the FDA’s decision to deny the marketing of new brands of flavored electronic cigarettes as an “important step in the right direction.”
But he had harsher words for the agency’s postponement of decisions about Juul.
“It would be particularly damaging for the FDA to allow the continued sale of Juul’s menthol e-cigarettes given that Juul was the main cause of the e-cigarette epidemic among young people with its appealing flavors, massive doses of nicotine and its youth. oriented marketing campaigns, ”Myers said in a statement.
“Juul products pending before the FDA put children at double risk. Not only do they have a minty flavor that is appealing to kids, but these products also have high levels of nicotine – equivalent to an entire packet of cigarettes – which can quickly get kids addicted. The FDA cannot allow these highly addictive, menthol flavored Juul products to remain on the market. But Juul’s menthol e-cigarettes aren’t the only problem, ”Myers added.
“Other menthol cigarettes such as Reynolds American blu and Vuse are also important,” Myers noted.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Children plans to return to court if the FDA does not clarify the timing of the remaining rulings, Myers told the PA.
Vaping was once considered an alternative to smoking, but there has been little research to prove that vaping can help people quit smoking. Parents and anti-vaping groups have been calling for a more in-depth review of devices for years.
Now, hundreds of companies are selling the products, which are available in many flavors and strengths. About half of the $ 4 billion US market is controlled by Juul Labs, Inc. Vuse is another big company. Both have other ties to the tobacco industry, the PA noted.
To receive FDA approval, vaping companies had to show that their e-cigarettes were beneficial to public health by proving that they helped adult smokers quit or reduce their cigarette consumption, and that it was low. it is likely that adolescents will become dependent on it, PA noted.
The FDA said it took action on 93% of the claims for more than 6 million vaping products. About 75% were dismissed without review because key information was missing. Most other products were rejected for their appeal to underage adolescents. About 80% of teens and children who vape use flavored products, according to the FDA.
The agency will also continue its review of other parts of the tobacco industry, including hookahs, pipes, mini cigars, and larger vaping devices with refillable tanks that sell at specialty vape stores. , the PA noted. Some of these products were not covered by a 2009 law that gave the FDA the power to oversee parts of the industry, including new products.
The FDA previously declared an underage vaping epidemic in 2018, when Juul’s high-nicotine, fruit-flavored cartridges gained popularity among middle and high school students.
Juul stopped all advertising and cut all flavors except tobacco and menthol in 2019. The FDA then limited the flavors of small vaping devices to those two. Teen vaping has dropped since then.
The question of whether electronic cigarettes should be sold is a lingering question. Some experts claim that the chemicals in e-cigarette vapor are less harmful than tobacco smoke.
“E-cigarettes and other low-risk products present a fantastic opportunity to replace cigarettes with much less dangerous products,” said Jonathan Foulds, addiction and public health specialist at Penn State University. PA. “But I’m afraid this is the start of overly aggressive regulation of e-cigarettes, especially in relation to the way we treat regular cigarettes.”
SOURCES: Associated press, September 9, 2021; Tobacco Free Campaign, statement, September 9, 2021
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