By Veliah Holden
On Monday, Sep. 9, The Food and Drug Administration reprimanded Juul Inc. in a harsh letter, warning the company to “immediately correct” their violations.
Juul has illegally marketed their products as “less harmful than regular cigarettes” and reporting that the product had been modified when it actually had not been. The FDA issued a warning letter to the company after the agency reviewed a testimony made by Juul executives during a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing that was in July of this year.
The testimony showed that Juul marketed its products as having “a lower risk of tobacco related disease or as less harmful than one or more other commercially marketed tobacco products.” According to federal regulations, such “modified risk” claims must be authorized by the FDA. Since Juul did not get this authorization, it means that the company sold and marketed the products illegally.
The FDA gave the company 15 business days, starting Monday, to respond to the warning letter. The agency said that “the inability to ensure compliance may result in initiating further action, including, but not limited to, civil money penalties, seizure of product, and/or injunction.”
Earlier on, the agency asked the company for documents relating to marketing practices, effects of product design, public health impact, but they said the company provided the Congress with more documents than they’d given to the FDA.
FDA commissioner Norman Sharpless said in a statement that “companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful.” He added: “JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in schools to our nation’s youth.”
At the time of writing, there have been 6 deaths from an unknown lung disease that is tied to vaping. There are also about 450 cases of the illness in 33 states. Federal health authorities are hastily investigating what exactly is causing the lung illness and how it can be stopped, aside from removing vaping from the equation.“The severity of the illness and the recent increase in the incidence of this clinical syndrome indicates that these cases represent a new or newly recognized and worrisome cluster of pulmonary disease related to vaping,” according to a report made by health officials in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Some civilians feel otherwise about this entire situation stating that “tobacco has killed millions of people; vaping has killed 6 people. Vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.” Although this claim is obviously not scientifically proven, it does give us something else to think about.