The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered more than 5 million e-cigarette products off the market in an announcement timed to a court-ordered deadline that could determine the future of the vaping industry.
According to a report on Politico.com, the agency delayed its decision on some of the industry’s largest players – Juul, Reynolds American’s Vuse, and NJOY.
But millions of products have now been banned in a major move that has drastically narrowed the e-cigarette market in the United States.
Decision Makes a Big Dent
For several years, lawmakers and public health organizations have lobbied to limit this market, arguing that the health risks of vaping outweigh the benefits. Much of health advocates’ concerns have centered on vaping products’ appeal to youth. A 2020 study from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that among adolescent smokers, more than 80% of high school students and 70% of middle school students used flavored vape products.
In its announcement, the FDA said the manufactures of these banned products failed to provide enough evidence that the benefits for adult smokers outweigh the documented risks to youth.
E-cigarettes’ popularity has surged in recent years. But, the industry has also operated in a gray area without many of the rules and restrictions that apply to traditional tobacco products. That began to change in 2016 when FDA finalized a rule that gives it full regulatory authority over tobacco products including e-cigarettes.
The agency got about 6.5 million applications from e-cig makers in September 2020. At the time the FDA told these companies they must demonstrate that their products would be appropriate and safe for current smokers and unappealing for non-smokers. The agency gave these manufacturers permission to sell their products during the year the agency reviewed their submissions.
Safety advocates have fought for decades to reduce smoking in the U.S. E-cigarette companies have resurrected a monster that public health advocates have worked for many years to slay. Young people are taking up smoking again with e-cig companies luring them with flavors like cotton candy, cherry, and bubblegum and promoting these products aggressively on social media.
If you have suffered adverse health effects as a result of these products, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.