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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to ban the sale and distribution of products from Juul Labs Inc, the e-cigarette company that is widely accused of spreading vaping among teenagers in the United States.

AT statement On Thursday, the federal health agency said the company should stop selling and distributing its products in the US, including the vaping device and flavored cartridges, while those already on the market should be removed.

The FDA will not prosecute consumers for owning Juul products, he added.

“Today’s action is further progress in fulfilling the FDA’s commitment to ensuring that all e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery systems currently sold to consumers meet our public health standards,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said in a statement.

The US vaping market is worth valued at $6 billion has come under increased scrutiny in 2020, according to Grand View Research, as tobacco control advocates call for greater regulation of the industry.

In response to the FDA statement, the company said Thursday that it will explore “all of our options under FDA rules and the law, including appealing the decision and interacting with our regulator.”

In 2020, Juul products accounted for 42 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market, according to Statista.

Juul and other e-cigarette makers often sell flavored products, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say increase their appeal to young people.

Between 2015 and 2018, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), sales of fruit-flavored e-cigarette cartridges grew by 600 percent, and “young people cite flavors as the main reason they use e-cigarettes.”

The CDC also reported that e-cigarettes have been the most popular tobacco product among young smokers since 2014, and more than 10 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021 compared to 1.9 percent who use traditional cigarettes.

In 2018, the US Surgeon General announced an “e-cigarette epidemic” among youth, adding that e-cigarette use among high school students increased 78 percent year-over-year, from 11.7 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent in 2018. . .

In 2019, more than 27 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes. according at the CDC.

In a statement Thursday, the FDA said Juul did not provide sufficient data to show that marketing of its products is “suitable for protecting public health.”

“Without the data needed to determine the relevant health risks, the FDA is issuing these do not market orders,” it said in a statement.

Juul positions itself as an alternative to cigarettes, and its website states that its “mission is to move the world’s one billion adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes, stop using them, and combat underage use of our products.”

Opponents of e-cigarettes are unconvinced and argue that the appeal of vaping, especially flavored products, threatens to undo the successful decline in teenage smoking that has taken place over the past few decades.

On its website, the anti-tobacco advocacy group Truth Initiative states: “While we support an important public health strategy to minimize harm, and these new products may be helpful for smokers who are completely abstaining from combustible tobacco, they still pose a risk. for health, and non-smokers should never use them.”

Over the past few years, Juul has paid out tens of millions in lawsuits.

In April of this year, Juul agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a consumer protection lawsuit filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who alleged that the company misled consumers about its product being addictive and targeted minors. consumers.

A year earlier in North Carolina, Juul agreed to a $40 million settlement after state attorney general Josh Stein sued him for misleading marketing aimed at youth.

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