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Juul is ordered by the FDA to pull all of its vaping products from the U.S. market

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The Food and Drug Administration orders e-cigarette maker Juul to pull all its vaping products off the market immediately. The company plans to fight back. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Even anti-smoking and vaping groups didn't expect such decisive action out of the FDA.

MEREDITH BERKMAN: This news has taken everyone by surprise.

NOGUCHI: Meredith Berkman co-founded Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes in 2018 after seeing Juul's aggressive marketing campaign at her son's high school. Berkman says Juul created the e-cigarette market, then dominated it. That's what makes the FDA's move so meaningful.

BERKMAN: And the fact that they're ordering all of the Juul products in this country off the market immediately, it's not only shocking, but it is appropriate for the protection of public health.

NOGUCHI: Robin Koval agrees. She is CEO of the Truth Initiative, an anti-smoking group.

ROBIN KOVAL: I think it's a very strong signal that there is serious action to put an end to this tobacco epidemic with the kinds of regulatory actions that can have real impact.

NOGUCHI: The FDA cited concerns about potential toxicity of Juul's products, as well as leakage from its e-liquid pods. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf also cited public health concerns over the increase in vaping among young people. Its decision about Juul comes on the heels of several other recent moves. The FDA banned fruit or sweet-flavored e-cigarettes off the market. Earlier this week, the Biden administration said it plans to cap the amount of nicotine in traditional cigarettes. The industry is likely to fight back. In a statement, Juul chief regulatory officer Joe Murillo disputed the FDA's findings. He said Juul will seek a stay of the decision as it considers an appeal. Koval says such a delay would be detrimental, noting that new e-cigarette use continued to surge among teens during the pandemic.

KOVAL: A delay may benefit the tobacco industry, but a delay is not going to serve children and public health.

NOGUCHI: The FDA has already approved some tobacco-flavored vaping products for sale. It's still reviewing many others. Yuki Noguchi, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Science Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C. She started covering consumer health in the midst of the pandemic, reporting on everything from vaccination and racial inequities in access to health, to cancer care, obesity and mental health.