Juul gets temporary reprieve to continue selling its e-cigarettes

Juul gets temporary reprieve to continue selling its e-cigarettes
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A federal appeals court on Friday granted Juul Labs a temporary stay that will allow it to keep its e-cigarettes on the market, pending further judicial review of a decision made just a day earlier by the Food and Drug Administration to ban sales of the company’s products.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a temporary stay that had been requested by Juul. The brief order from the appeals court warned that the suspension “should not be construed in any way as a decision on the merits.”

The suspension involves the FDA’s order on Thursday, when the agency said Juul had to stop selling its products because it had provided conflicting and insufficient data that prevented the FDA from evaluating the potential health risks of its products.

It will be up to the appeals court to decide whether Juul should continue to be allowed to sell its products while the company continues its appeal of the FDA decision. The court gave Juul until noon Monday to file an additional motion and gave the FDA until July 7 to file a motion in response.

In its emergency suspension request, Juul argued that the FDA’s decision to ban sales was motivated by political forces seeking to blame the company for the youth vaping crisis. The FDA ruled against Juul “after immense political pressure from Congress,” the filing reads, “despite the fact that several of its competitors now have larger market shares and much higher usage rates by consumers. minors”.

However, the FDA did not cite underage use in its decision to ban Juul from the market. Rather, the agency said Juul had not provided sufficient evidence that its product prevents the leaching of chemicals from the nicotine vapor device that users inhale.

While the suspension is in effect, consumers will be able to purchase Juul cartridges and pods flavored with tobacco and menthol. The FDA had warned that retailers selling Juul products would be subject to enforcement action at some point, but not while the suspension is in effect.

In its court filing, Juul noted that the agency’s decision had “already had its intended effect,” indicating that some retailers had stopped selling Juul products.

The FDA is not seeking a blanket ban on all vaping products. As part of its new regulatory authority over so-called electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, the agency has been reviewing applications for millions of products. Approval has already been granted to 23 of them, including the market leading Vuse Alto, made by RJ Reynolds, and several others produced by NJoy and Logic. (Applications for a million other products have been denied.)

As part of its review, the agency must consider whether a product is a viable alternative to combustible tobacco that can help smokers quit and whether the public health benefits outweigh harms.

According to Nielsen data, the top-selling vape brand in the US over the past 12 weeks was Vuse Alto, which earned $414 million in sales and held 33.4 percent of the overall e-cigarette market. A close second was Juul, with a 33 percent market share. None of the other brands came close to these two companies; the next best-selling brand, NJoy Ace, accounted for just 2.4 percent of the market.

The cigarette industry in the United States generated about $99 billion in revenue last year, compared to $7.8 billion for vaping products like Juul, according to Euromonitor, a data research firm. But tobacco sales are declining: Euromonitor estimates that cigarette sales will fall by around 13 per cent through 2026, while vaping products are expected to grow by around 22 per cent. Altria, the tobacco giant that took a 35 percent stake in Juul in 2018, reported that its sales fell slightly last year. according to regulatory filings.

There are an estimated 30 million traditional cigarette smokers in the US, a number that has been in decline for decades.

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