Last week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb spoke to a congressional committee about concerns that e-cigarette use amongst teens was rising. In his speech, Gottlieb promised that FDA action was coming. Today, he’s fired the opening rounds in what’s sure to be an ongoing battle in the form of an FDA blitz targeting JUUL and retailers specifically.
In his press release, Gottlieb reveals that the FDA has been conducting a large-scale undercover blitz operation aimed at retailers selling JUUL devices to underage users. The operation, which began on April 6, has led to 40 retailers receiving warning letters from the FDA.
While the JUUL is the main target of the crackdown, the myblu and KandyPen are also under scrutiny.
The commissioner also states that he’s been in contact with eBay to alert the site about problematic JUUL listings. eBay complied by pulling those auctions from the site. The auction site has implemented new measures to prevent future issues with listings.
In perhaps the biggest move, the FDA sent an official request for information to JUUL Labs. The request covers a huge range of topics, including:
- Documents related to product marketing
- Research on the health, toxicological, behavioral, or physiologic effects of the products, including youth initiation and use
- Whether certain product design features, ingredients or specifications appeal to different age groups
- Youth-related adverse events and consumer complaints associated with the products.
Gottlieb goes on to add that other companies (perhaps myblu and KandyPen) can expect to receive similar requests. JUUL had already reached out to the FDA prior to this request, but it appears other manufacturers have not.
The fourth revelation is more vague, stating that the Food and Drug Administration will reveal plans to target companies they feel are aiming their products at children and young adults. Details on those plans are coming in the weeks and months ahead. Gottlieb made it clear, however, that if you’re marketing products to kids, you’re on their radar.
“The youth-focused steps we’re taking are consistent with our responsibility to protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death, and I intend to do everything within my power to fulfill that duty.”
Expect even more action in the weeks and months ahead.
Want to get involved and help save flavors in vaping? The FDA is open for comments on the topic. Go here and tell them your story.