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FDA's Marketing Order against JUUL e-cigarettes sheds light on vaping epidemic

The multi-billion dollar tobacco industry is facing some stress from the FDA's recent marketing denial order against the e-cigarette company JUUL.

The order restricted JUUL's ability to market and sell their products but a little over a week after the order was issued, it was put on hold.

Antonio Palmer, a public health educator with Tobacco Free CNY said the FDA's action came too long after the rise of e-cigarettes and that it might be too late to change course.

“Years later, now that the FDA is kind of seeing the crisis that we are in, they are trying to step in and do the right thing," Palmer said. "So, it’s great to see, but I don’t want to say too little, too late. Because the issue right now is, JUUL. JUUL kind of faded out.”

The administration's crack down against vaping and e-cigarette companies was motivated by the popularity JUUL products had among young people. While the traditional use of combustible cigarettes is not as enticing to youth, vaping remains a serious health threat.

Palmer said that while the long term effects of vaping are still unknown, the short term effects are just as concerning.

“We still don’t know the long term effects," Palmer said. "And just from the short period of time that it’s kind of risen as far as the prevalence in youth, especially in our youth, we’ve already started to see issues in regards to the effects it has on the body, physically, mentally.”

Theresa Hankin, a registered respiratory therapist and tobacco treatment specialist with Upstate Medical, agrees, and says that despite vaping companies' claims that their products help ease the addition to nicotine, the impacts of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes are similar.

“Anything that’s not meant to be on your lungs is an irritant," Hankin said. "And there is research that shows that the inflammation that comes from a combustible cigarette and vaping are very similar.”

The marketing denial order for JUUL products remains on hold while the FDA continues to investigate "unique scientific issues" pertaining to the brand.

Abigail is a temporary WRVO News Reporter/Producer working on regional and digital news stories. She graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2022 where she studied English and Public Relations. Abigail enjoys reading, writing, exploring CNY and spending time with family and friends. Abigail first joined the WRVO team as a student reporter in June 2022.