Sep 9, 2019

FDA warns Juul for misleading advertising

Photo: Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images

The FDA sent a warning letter to Juul on Monday threatening fines and/or product seizure for misleadingly marketing its vaping technology — especially in its outreach to youths — as less harmful than cigarettes.

Why it matters: After a spate of respiratory illness reports, the CDC issued a formal warning last month against the broad use of e-cigarettes and recommended that users avoid buying bootlegged vaping products. State attorneys general are also targeting the vaping startup through investigations and lawsuits designed to prevent youths from using the product.

  • Acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement that "Juul has ignored the law" because it marketed its tobacco product as less harmful than cigarettes without clearance from the FDA.
  • "[T]he law is clear that, before marketing tobacco products for reduced risk, companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful," he added.

A Juul spokesperson said the company is "reviewing the letters and will fully cooperate."  

Go deeper: Juul's growing kids crisis

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Michael Bloomberg launches $160M initiative to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Michael Bloomberg. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's philanthropic arm announced plans on Tuesday to spend $160 million over 3 years in an attempt to ban flavored e-cigarettes in the U.S., saying tobacco companies "are preying on America's youth."

Why it matters: Though Bloomberg Philanthropies has backed efforts to curb tobacco use around the world before, this is reportedly the organization's first time financing an anti-tobacco initiative in the U.S., per the Washington Post. The pledge follows state and federal investigations into multiple deaths from an unknown lung illness linked to vaping.

Go deeperArrowSep 10, 2019

Nicotine addictions increasingly driving vape users back to cigarettes

Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A new Los Angeles Times report details a painfully ironic contradiction: Vape users turning to cigarettes to cope with their nicotine addictions, challenging vapes' original purpose of helping cigarette users quit smoking altogether.

The big picture: As cigarette use has declined, e-cigarettes and vaping are seeing a sharp increase in popularity — but not without pushback. Just last week, Juul, a vaping technology, faced backlash from lawmakers for being advertised as less harmful than cigarettes without approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrowSep 16, 2019

Fear and vaping in our schools

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Prohibition is making a comeback to stop youths from vaping — and everyone from public schoolteachers to the medical community to the Trump family seems on board.

Driving the news: Wednesday, President Trump unexpectedly called reporters into the Oval Office where he — flanked by first lady Melania Trump — said he was exploring a ban on most flavors of e-cigarettes, the most popular brand being Juul.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019