FDA Must Reject Juul’s Application… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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FDA Must Reject Juul’s Application to Continue Addicting Kids with High-Nicotine, Menthol-Flavored E-Cigarettes

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
July 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must reject the application Juul filed today seeking authorization to continue selling the very products that deliver massive doses of nicotine and have caused an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use and addiction in the United States. Juul wants to keep selling e-cigarettes that contain as much nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes, putting kids at risk of rapid addiction, and it wants to sell these products with menthol flavor that appeals to kids. The FDA must reject this application and side with America’s kids, not the company that created the youth e-cigarette epidemic.

The evidence is clear that Juul’s high-dose nicotine products caused the youth e-cigarette epidemic and that the introduction of these high-nicotine products is directly associated with the unprecedented growth in youth e-cigarette use in recent years. Thanks largely to Juul’s high-nicotine products, e-cigarette use among high school students more than doubled from 2017 to 2019 (from 11.7% to 27.5%) and over 5.3 million U.S. kids used e-cigarettes in 2019 – an increase of over 3 million in just two years.

The evidence is also clear that menthol flavor appeals to kids – and that if any flavored e-cigarettes are left on the market, kids will shift to them. After Juul ended sales of flavors other than mint and menthol in November 2018, youth use of mint and menthol products soared. After Juul was pressured to end sales of its mint products in November 2019, sales of menthol e-cigarettes then soared. Decades of experience with menthol cigarettes also leaves no doubt that menthol appeals to kids, as over half of current youth smokers smoke menthol cigarettes. As it reviews applications from Juul and other e-cigarette companies, the FDA should not allow the sale of any flavored products – including menthol – given the overwhelming evidence that flavored products have fueled youth use and the lack of evidence such products help smokers quit.

With its application today, Juul is seeking a green light from the FDA to continue addicting kids with massive doses of nicotine and appealing menthol flavor. The FDA must reject it.