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The big final fight over Juul has begun



Photo: Seth Wenig

Despite the announcement by Scott Gottlieb's sudden departure from the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month, the FDA Commission said he is still certain that tighter regulation of the e-cigarette and tobacco industry after departure will continue. And that means Juul is not from the hook yet.

In an interview on CNBCs Squawk Box this week, Gottlieb said that policies he has initiated while he is going will continue as planned, including proposed restrictions FDA issued on Wednesday that would restrict sales of flavored e-cig products. Asked specifically about meetings he had this week with big tobacco giant Altria and Juul-two companies, he was specifically zeroed in in recent months after having a $ 12.8 billion deal last year. He quoted earlier statements he has made that, if youth-armed numbers continue to rise as they have been vape products, risking getting out of the market.

"If the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey – which we are in the field with right now gathering the data – shows another spike in adolescent use, we go back with making new policies in the fall. And one of the things we should investigate. is if we take the entire category of pod-based e-cigarettes out of the market, he says. "At some point, youth use of these products becomes so unbearable that they have no redeeming public health value and we just have to sweep the market for those products. And that includes Juul. They are the products that are abused by the children. "

According to a report from the New York Times on Friday, Gottlieb's departure from the FDA has some major tobacco groups wishing to seize the opportunity. Conservative lobbies and dealers ready to be influenced by the new vape sales restrictions have apparently fallen down. on Washington in an attempt to curb the proposed limitations, which include banning minors in stores selling flavored e-cig products, as well as implementing age verification systems to prohibit online sales to children.

"We are committed to reducing youth use, while retaining the ability to eliminate flammable cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world, "Juul said in a statement Wednesday in response to the FDA's proposed restrictions." As part of our action plan deployed in November 2018 for to keep JUUL products out of the youth hands, we stopped the sale of tastings JUULpods to stores, strengthened our detail hand ls agreement and secret shopper program, enhanced our online age verification, terminated our Facebook and Instagram accounts, and works continuously to remove inappropriate third party social media content. "

Dismantling Systems That Allow Gottlieb to classify as an epidemic of juvenile gunfire has been among his highest priorities in his time at the FDA. Gottlieb has come down particularly hard on Juul, the preferred choice of choice among teenagers and a product he has Repeatedly accused of reneging on pledges to commit to keeping their products out of the hands of minors – especially after it was smeared with Marlboro's maker 19659004] Gottlieb makes some pretty big demands on the future of e- cigs when he has one foot out of the door, but even with only a few weeks left in his position, it looks like the fate of the jule and other e-cig products have not yet been determined.

[CNBC, New York Times]

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