Juul warned by USA regulator over claims its vaping devices are safe

Juul warned by USA regulator over claims its vaping devices are safe

Vaping market leader Juul Labs received a harsh warning today from federal health officials over claims that its e-cigarette products are less harmful than conventional tobacco use.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a stern warning letter to the company, flagging claims by Juul including that its products are "much safer than cigarettes".

In a second letter sent on Monday, the FDA asked the company for more information about its marketing practices, such as scientific evidence or data that shows if terms like "switch" or "alternative" give consumers the idea that its cigarettes are less harmful than combustible cigarettes, according to a report by CNBC.

The FDA letter highlights an incident recounted by two NY high school students during a congressional hearing in July.

The Juul rep also urged a student to mention Juul to a nicotine-addicted friend "because that's a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use", according to the FDA.

During the presentation, the students said the rep told them the company's product was "totally safe".

Juul said it discontinued its school programs last September.

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Recently, San Francisco issued a ban on all non-FDA approved e-cigarette products, MI issued a ban on e-cigarettes in general and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a state-wide ban on all flavored e-cigarette products today.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Juul said the company is reviewing the letter and plans to "fully cooperate".

Juul and other vape manufacturers were initially given an August 2018 deadline by the FDA to present proof of the health benefits of e-cigarettes, but FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb pushed that deadline back four years, to 2022. There are now 450 possible cases in 33 states and one territory, including five deaths, they said. "The CEO's letter stated: "[Juul's] simple and convenient system incorporates temperature regulation to heat nicotine liquid and deliver smokers the satisfaction that they want without the combustion and the harm associated with it".

Last year, the agency had requested documents from Juul to examine the high rates of youth use and had conducted a surprise inspection at Juul's San Francisco headquarter and seized documents. We must not stand by while e-cigarettes continue to go unregulated. Juul officials who testified said they had ended the school programs and that the company no longer sold many types of e-flavored cigarettes in retail stores.

The company uses a nicotine concentration of 5% in its products, which could potentially increase their addictiveness, and nicotine salts that are used to mask the harshness of nicotine, the agency said questioning their usage.

Juul has 15 days to respond to the letter.

The letter also criticizes the company for apparently turning over more documents to congressional investigators than to the agency "despite previous document requests from FDA".

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