Tulsa World

FDA delays decision on Juul

But agency bans sale of thousands of other vaping products

- MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Thursday delayed a high-stakes decision on whether to permit bestsellin­g vaping brand Juul to stay on the market, while banning the sale of thousands of other electronic cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administra­tion said it rejected applicatio­ns for nearly 950,000 e-cigarettes and related products, mainly due to their potential appeal to underage teens. Some of the products are currently being sold while many others were only proposed by manufactur­ers. But the agency didn’t rule on Juul, the most popular brand with adult smokers and many teens.

Parents, politician­s and anti-tobacco advocates have pressured the FDA for years to ban Juul’s high-nicotine devices, which many blame for the recent spike in underage vaping. But the agency said it would need more time to rule on that company’s products.

“There’s more work to be done to complete our remaining reviews and ensure that we continue taking appropriat­e action to protect our nation’s youth from the dangers of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes,” the agency said in a statement. The agency noted 80% of teens and children who vape use flavored products.

Thursday’s action is part of a sweeping review by the FDA to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibilli­on-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays. The agency has yet to authorize any vaping product as a less harmful option for smokers.

The FDA faced a court deadline Thursday to issue decisions on marketing applicatio­ns from Juul and hundreds of other companies. The date was set by a federal judge after anti-tobacco groups successful­ly sued the FDA to speed up its review.

To stay on the market, companies must show that their e-cigarettes benefit public health. In practice, that means proving that adult smokers who use the products are likely to quit or reduce their smoking, while teens are unlikely to get hooked on them.

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