Battle lines drawn in fight to control the burgeoning vaping industry
The battle between vaping companies on the one side and health authorities and governments on the other is heating up.
A vaping industry group sued the U.S. government Wednesday to delay an upcoming review of thousands of e-cigarettes on the market, reports Associated Press health writer Matthew Perrone. (https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2019-08-14/vaping-companies-sue-to-delay-us-e-cigarette-review)
In its legal challenge, the Vapor Technology Association argued that the latest deadline of next May to submit products for review could wipe out many of the smaller companies. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky.
E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. more than a decade ago and have grown in popularity despite little research on their long-term effects, including whether they can help smokers quit cigarettes.
San Francisco-based Juul is among 800 member companies of the vaping association.
While there are many vaporizers on the market, Juul has gained popularity (especially among teenagers) for its sleek design and easy-to-use pods. Even after the company was forced to while the that Juul was promoting underage use of tobacco products, Juul continues to prove popular with rising sales and affectionate nicknames, such as the “iPhone of vaporizers.” (https://www.cnet.com/news/juul-what-is-it-how-does-it-work-and-is-it-safe/)
Vaping executives have long said that most companies will not be able to afford to conduct large, expensive studies needed for FDA review. Only products that meet FDA standards would be permitted to be sold.
In a separate but related matter, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois recently filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs that accuses the e-cigarette giant of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act for allegedly using deceptive marketing. The State’s Attorney’s Office is also seeking punitive damages. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/e-cigarette-giant-juul-accused-of-marketing-to-teens-in-new-lawsuit/)
“Just like cigarette companies did in the past, Juul preyed on teens by using advertisements that glamorized their product in order to get kids hooked on nicotine,” said Nerheim said in a statement. “It will take years of education and money to right the wrongs and cover the damages caused by Juul’s marketing campaigns. To that end, the company should be held accountable for the massive expected cost to undo the damage they created.”