(INDIANAPOLIS) – The FDA ban on Juul e-cigarettes may not have much effect on vaping.
Juul once controlled three-quarters of the e-cigarette market, but it’s now about even with Vuse as the market leader, with each holding about a third of the market. Bryan Hannon with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network says it’s too soon to know what’ll happen when it’s gone. He says the migration from Juul to other vape products may continue.
Hannon says the action is still important because of what he charges was “predatory” marketing to teenagers. He charges Juul was first and worst in targeting the youth market, through youth-oriented flavored vapes like fruit and bubble gum, and through the use of youth influencers and teenager-focused social media sites.
The FDA action was based not on Juul marketing, but on questions about whether harmful chemicals can seep out of the vape pods. The agency says Juul failed to supply enough evidence to show there’s not a health risk.
Hannon says he’d like to see the FDA go further and issue rules against flavored tobacco, including menthol. The FDA proposed a menthol ban in April but won’t finalize it until at least next month. And Hannon says Indiana legislators should increase the tax on vaping. Indiana’s first-ever vape tax takes effect Friday, but legislators this year reduced the tax rate they’d approved the year before. Legislators say the revised rate of 15% puts it on par with Indiana’s cigarette tax. Hannon says legislators had it right the first time, when the tax was 25%, and should restore it.
Juul won’t disappear from shelves for at least 10 days. A federal court has put the order on hold while it reviews a Juul appeal.
Indiana’s Alcohol and Tobacco Commission says it’s still reviewing both the FDA order and the court’s temporary stay.