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Smokers are rushing to stock up on Juul e-cigarettes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said their sale would be banned starting Thursday. One smoke shop worker in New York City said customers had been rushing in throughout the day to ‘bulk-buy’ boxes of up to 40 packs at a time.
Customers have also taken to social media to vent their frustration at the order, with one woman in Indiana saying her husband was out ‘clearing shelves’ of Juul products.
The FDA today said it was banning the sale and distribution of Juul products because the company had failed to provide ‘sufficient evidence’ they were safe. It also raised concerns over potentially hazardous liquid in the products.
Juul has vowed to appeal the move, saying it ‘respectfully disagrees’ with the FDA’s decision. E-cigarette supporters said the move would go down as one of the ‘greatest episodes of regulatory malpractice in history’.
The vaping industry has been caught in the cross-hairs of the FDA amid allegations it has led to a spike in e-cigarette use among youngsters and is a gateway for people to start smoking.
But manufacturers claim that their products are much safer than cigarettes because they do not have the toxic smoke and can help people kick the habit.
Adman Masuk, 25, who runs a vape shop near Union Square in New York City said customers had been rushing in to buy in bulk all day. He is pictured above with the Juul packages being the white items on the top shelf
Pictured left is his shop off Union Square, and right is a package of Juul e-cigarettes. Customers are rushing to snap them up
Popular e-cigarette brand Juul has its products pulled from shelves after the FDA denied its application to get around a ban of flavored nicotine
A smoke shop worker told DailyMail.com today that he was facing a surge in customers since the FDA ban.
Adman Masuk, 25, who works in a shop off Union Square in New York City, said: ‘We’ve had customers rushing in all day.
‘They’re buying in bulk, coming in and getting about 20 or 40 boxes or so.’
Sean Hannity promises to ‘vape live on air’ if Biden bans Juul e-cigarettes
On the Wednesday night edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity vowed to defy the law and proudly vape his e-cig live on air in a segment discussing a possible FDA ban on Juul products.
Less than 24 hours after the broadcast, the FDA confirmed a ban on Juul products.
Reporter Trace Gallagher told Hannity during the segment: ‘Juul has been trying to get on the right side of regulators by limiting its marketing and banning mango, mint, other sweet flavors. The company even suggested a vaping device that can only be unlocked if you’re 21.’
He noted that while Juul has the right to appeal a ban, those appeals can take a long time and are expensive.
That’s when Hannity chimed in to say: ‘They ban it, and I’ll do it live on TV and they can come and arrest me. How about that?’
The ban forbids the sale of Juul products but does not ban personal use of the product.
He said they had not raised the price, and were still selling them at around $20 for four.
On social media, one user from Indiana expressed her concern at the FDA ban on Juul e-cigarettes. She said: ‘My husband is out on a Juul run right now. Gonna clear the shelves and hoard ’em like our incandescent bulbs.’
Other shop owners in New York City told DailyMail.com they would not be removing Juul from sale until they heard directly from the FDA.
Carlos Matthews, 26, who runs a shop off third avenue in the Big Apple, said he was yet to see a surge in customers — but once he was told the ban was in place he would remove the products from his shelves rather than pay a fine that could reach up to $8,000.
Another shop owner near Astor Place, in The East Village, who declined to be named said Juul was no longer one of his more popular brands because it had few flavors.
The FDA ruling came after warnings yesterday it was planning to ban America’s most popular e-cigarette brand.
There is no rule in place against owning or using a Juul device.
The Biden administration is also cracking down on smokers, voicing plans to limit the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in the hopes of making them less addictive.
The FDA ban includes JUULpods Virginia Tobacco five percent, Virginia Tobacco three percent, Menthol five percent, and Menthol three percent.
The agency has threatened enforcement action on any businesses that continues to sell Juul e-cigarettes, including fines and seizures of products.
Michele Mital, the agency’s acting director for tobacco products, said today that Juul had failed to demonstrate its products met safety standards.
‘As with all manufacturers, Juul had the opportunity to provide evidence demonstrating that the marketing of their product meets these standards,’ she said.
‘However, the company did not provide that evidence and instead left us with significant questions.
‘Without the data needed to determine relevant health risks, the FDA is issuing these marketing denial orders.’
The CDC reports that more than 2.5 million students in the U.S. were ‘current’ users of tobacco products in 2021. This includes 13% of high schoolers and 4% of middle schoolers
FDA commissioner Robert Califf accused Juul of playing a ‘significant part’ in the rise of vaping among youngsters.
Responding to the ruling, the chief regulatory officer for Juul Joe Murillo said the company ‘respectfully disagrees with the FDA’s findings and decision, and continues to believe we have provided sufficient information and data based on high-quality research to address all issues raised by the agency’.
He added: ‘We intend to seek a stay and are exploring all of our options under the FDA’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator.
‘We remain committed to doing all in our power to continue serving the millions of American adult smokers who have successfully used our products to transition away from combustible cigarettes, which remain available on market shelves nationwide.’
After the FDA ordered a review of all vaping products in 2020, Juul had been seeking approval for its devices.
Juul is the most popular e-cigarette brand in America, believed to be behind about 42 percent of all devices sold.
But it has been accused of sparking a surge in vaping among younger adults, and providing a gateway for people to start smoking.
Federal data shows one-in-four children vaped in 2019 — more than double the 11.7 percent two years beforehand.
This has now come back down to 11.3 percent, however, amid heightened regulations and concerns over the habit.
The American Vapor Manufacturing Association — which represents the industry — blasted today’s ban on selling Juul products.
Its president Amanda Wheeler said: ‘Measured in lives lost and potential destroyed, the FDA’s staggering indifference to ordinary Americans and their right to switch to the vastly safer alternative of vaping will surely rank as one of the greatest episodes of regulatory malpractice in American history.’
Several public health groups have, however, welcomed the move.
Erika Sward, the vice-president of advocacy for the American Lung Association, said: ‘The FDA’s decision to remove all Juul products from the marketplace is both most welcomed and long overdue.
‘Juul’s campaign to target and hook kids on tobacco has gone on for far too long.’
Disposable e-cigarettes and refillable cartridges account for over 80% of teen tobacco product usage in America
The FDA’s ban comes just a day after the Biden administration called on tobacco companies to drastically cut the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.
Each one currently contains around 7.5 to 13.4 milligrams of the substance which makes them addictive, estimates suggest.
But the administration hopes to see this cut to ‘minimal’ levels in order to make smoking less addictive and easier to quit.
They say it could also help stop people from starting to smoke in the first place.
FDA commissioner Califf said in a statement that nicotine is ‘powerfully addictive’, adding that ‘lowering levels… would decrease the likelihood that future generations of young people become addicted to cigarettes and help more currently addicted smokers to quit’.
The agency estimates reducing these levels could stop about 33 million people from becoming regular smokers and allow about five million more to quit every year.
It comes after the FDA also proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes in the United States, which account for about a third of all those being sold.
They said the move could help reduce disease and death from smoking by making people less likely to pick up the habit.
The FDA is also seeking to ban dozens of sweet and fruity flavors from small cigars, which are becoming more popular among young people.