FDA: Juul Illegally Marketed Products To Kids As Safer Tobacco Alternatives
A September 9, 2019, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter said that Juul Labs has been illegally marketing its e-cigarette products to kids as safer tobacco alternatives.
The FDA letter presents as evidence video from a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee hearing. The video contained testimony accusing Juul representatives of saying the following things while speaking to high school students:
- That Juul “was much safer than cigarettes” and that “FDA would approve it any day;”
- That Juul was “totally safe;”
- That a student “…should mention Juul to his [nicotine-addicted] friend… because that’s a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes, and it would be better for the kid to use;”
- That “FDA was about to come out and say it [Juul] was 99% safer than cigarettes… and that… would happen very soon.”
The FDA found that Juul sold or distributed its products as “modified risk tobacco products” without a required FDA order in place which would permit such legal sale or distribution. The FDA says a tobacco product is a modified risk tobacco product if its labeling, label or advertising implicitly or explicitly says:
- The product is less harmful than or carries with it a lower risk of tobacco-related disease than one or several other tobacco products which are commercially marketed;
- The product or its smoke/vapor contains less of a substance or presents less exposure to a substance;
- The product or its smoke/vapor completely lacks a substance.
A tobacco product is also considered a modified risk tobacco product if its manufacturer takes any action, other than via the product’s labeling, label or advertising, directed at consumers, which can be reasonably expected to cause consumers to think that the product might be less harmful or present a lower risk of disease compared to one or several other tobacco products which are commercially marketed, or that the product presents less or zero exposure to a substance or substances.
The FDA says that modified risk tobacco products may not be sold or distributed without an FDA order in effect, and that applications for these FDA orders must provide scientific evidence to support the claims that the products are somehow safer than other tobacco products.
Juul Labs’ marketing of its e-cigarette products to school children as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking is particularly concerning when considering the skyrocketing rate of e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction among America’s youth.
Nadrich & Cohen and its legal teams are committed to investigating and filing lawsuits on behalf of young adults and teens who developed nicotine side effects following Juul e-cigarette usage. We believe that Juul Labs purposely targeted teens and young adults with its marketing efforts.
If you or a loved one used Juul and subsequently became addicted to nicotine, or developed health issues such as stroke, heart attack, seizures, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, behavioral issues or mood swings, you may be eligible to make a claim for Juul side effects.