FDA Warns JUUL About Misleading Claims

News Release, American Heart Association

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 9, 2019—“In a warning letter issued today, the Food and Drug Administration officially concluded what has long been apparent: that electronic cigarette manufacturer JUUL has repeatedly made unproven claims that its products pose less harm than traditional cigarettes.

“JUUL has preyed upon youth and adolescents with slick marketing that simultaneously suggests e-cigarettes are harmless or less harmful to users and promotes appealing flavors that attract kids. The public saw evidence of this during House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearings in July when high school students told of JUUL representatives telling them the company’s products are ‘totally safe’.

“The FDA’s action today undermines JUUL’s repeated insistence that it has played little if any, role in creating an epidemic that saw youth e-cigarette use skyrocket by 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students nationwide in 2018.

“JUUL’s outreach also has misled current smokers by implying that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes or an effective smoking cessation aid. In May, the American Heart Association and other national health groups called on the FDA to ‘to launch a full-scale investigation of all aspects of JUUL’s advertising and marketing to determine the scope of its statutory violations and to take strong enforcement action to sanction the company and bring these violations to an end.’

“The letter, which also was signed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Truth Initiative, was cited by the FDA in a request to JUUL, also issued today, for detailed information about the company’s outreach and marketing practices.

“The FDA must ensure JUUL immediately stops its reckless and dangerous targeting of children and adults with highly addictive products that pose numerous health risks. The agency also must move to exercise robust regulatory authority over the ingredients, manufacture, sale, and marketing of e-cigarettes.” 

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