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Health, Science & Environment

FDA orders e-cigarette maker Juul to pull products from U.S. market

A high school student uses a vaping device near a school campus in Cambridge, Mass. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is declaring a public health emergency and ordering a four-month temporary ban on all vaping products in the state. The Republican governor made the announcement Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 amid growing concern about the health effects of vaping products. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Steven Senne
A high school student uses a vaping device.

The Food and Drug Administration has denied e-cigarette maker Juul authorization to market in the U.S., telling the company to pull its products from store shelves.

In its ruling, the FDA says the company's applications "lacked sufficient evidence regarding the toxicological profile" of its products.

Theodore Wagener is director of the Center for Tobacco Research and co-leader of the Cancer Control Program at the OSUCCC – James, as well as an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University.

Wagener said the FDA's decision came as a big surprise.

"I thought, given the products that FDA has already authorized to be on the market over the last almost nine months, that Juul would have been authorized as well, since Juul is a very similar product in terms of design, the amount of nicotine in it, and how people use it," he said.

Wagener said there's been a precipitous decline in much-more-harmful traditional cigarette smoking in the decade since vaping products became popular, but that trend could change.

"I'm nervous now that we're continuing to make this e-cigarette market smaller and smaller, and we're gonna see kids and maybe adults start picking up cigarettes again," he said.

According to the FDA, more than 10 million kids ages 12-17 have either used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them.

Wagener said he expects Juul to challenge the FDA's ruling.

Health, Science & Environment juulFDAVaping
Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.