The company behind a trendy electronic cigarette that's attracted federal scrutiny because of its appeal to minors says it will invest $30 million over the next three years to help to combat underage use of its products. The companies, which include gas station convenience stores in both in and Kentucky, have received warning letters.
Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, explains in detail the five steps that the administration is taking to guarantee quick and effective implementation of the new plan.
'We already have in place programs to identify and act upon these violations at retail and online marketplaces, and we will have more aggressive plans to announce in the coming days, ' the statement read.
As part of the FDA initiative, regulators are asking Juul Labs to turn over documents about the design and marketing of its devices. The selling points touted by Juul-"simple", "clean", "satisfying"-are consistent with the market the company says it is trying to reach".
In a statement provided to Side Effects Public Media, a spokesperson for JUUL Labs said the company "agrees with the FDA that illegal sales of our product to minors are unacceptable".
In addition, Attorney General Miller and the same group will work with JUUL Labs to develop a transparent and effective framework for independent research focused on the scientific and societal implications of vapor products.
"It is no wonder that JUUL e-cigarettes have rapidly caught on with youth - they look like a sleek USB flash drive, are easily concealed, and come in youth-appealing flavors like mint, mango and crème brulee", said Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. "Our ecommerce platform utilizes unique ID match and age verification technology to make sure minors are not able to access and purchase our products online", Juul says.
"It is no secret that big tobacco companies will stop at nothing to hook young people on their addictive and risky products", Durbin and the senators wrote to FDA's Commissioner. "We want to be a leader in seeking solutions, and are actively engaged with, and listening to, community leaders, educators and lawmakers on how best to effectively keep young people away from JUUL".
Democratic senators in Congress and a coalition of anti-tobacco advocacy groups have prodded the FDA to tighten marketing standards for Juul. The San Francisco-based firm offers a number of products designed for tobacco as an alternative to ordinary cigarettes, including e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
"We have heard of them here at the high school", said Brandon Bitting, principal at Carroll High School. "As students become more comfortable, we have seen it in classrooms and on campus even out in the open".
Juul is clearly positioning its e-cigarettes as harm-reducing alternatives for grownups who smoke, which the FDA itself has recognized as a potential boon for public health. But the agency chose to delay regulations until 2022 as part of a plan to overhaul tobacco regulations.
The nicotine in the e-cigarettes also had addictive components and can lead to other tobacco use.
According to Gottlieb, the FDA has conducted 908,280 inspections of tobacco retailers, issued 70,350 warning letters and initiated about 17,000 civil money penalty cases in its efforts to stop the sale of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors, reports CNN. Dick Durbin in response to the FDA's announcement.