FDA to curb teen Juul usage

FDA claims Juuls target minors

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Last Apr. 24 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a five-step plan to reduce the use of tobacco products, particularly Juuls and e-cigarettes, among teenagers.

The Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan is a five step initiative aimed at understanding and targeting the appeal that nicotine products, with an emphasis on vaping products such as those of the Juul brand, have on the nation’s youth.

Although the plan targets general tobacco use, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of understanding the impact on vaping devices that have become a trendy way for teenagers to start smoking and do so discretely.

Juul products, like most e-cigarettes, were created as an alternative to traditional cigarettes with the intention of reducing the well known risks associated with smoking tobacco.

Despite this, most vaping devices still contain nicotine, making them just as addictive as regular cigarettes.

Additionally, being a relatively new trend, little research has been done to determine the specific effects that these products have on either people who already smoke or teenagers who begin nicotine usage through such products.

According to the FDA’s website, “[Juul Labs] believe that vaping can have a positive impact when used by smokers, and can have a negative impact when used by nonsmokers.”

The manufacturer added “These alternatives contain nicotine, which has not been shown to cause cancer but can create dependency. We believe that these alternatives are not appropriate for people who do not already smoke.”

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb acknowledged the positive potential that e-cigarettes have for adult smokers but warned of the danger they pose to non-smokers, particularly young people, a majority of whom were not former smokers.

“The viability of these products is severely undermined if those products entice youth to start using tobacco and nicotine,” said Gottlieb

Crackdowns in schools prompted public concern regarding easy accessibility to minors.

In response, the FDA had already carried out an undercover sting operation targeting various forms of Juul retailers. The agency further issued a formal warning to all retailers regarding the violation of the law when selling products to customers under 21.

The agency targeted Juul Labs directly by ordering them to produce documents regarding the scientific research that goes into their products as well marketing info. In response to these warnings, Juul Labs agreed to raise the minimum age for purchasing their products from 18 to 21.

The company issued a formal statement regarding the FDA’s initiative: “We are working with the F.D.A., lawmakers, parents and community leaders to combat underage use, and we will continue working with all interested parties to keep our product away from youth.”

Additionally, the company also announced its own $30 million campaign aimed at reducing underage use of their products.

As a final step of this initiative, the agency announced that they will continue to invest in “science-based campaigns” aimed at educating young people about the risks associated with all tobacco products.

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