The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday warned leading e-cigarette maker Juul Labs about illegally marketing its product as a safer alternative to cigarettes.
The FDA ordered Juul to respond within 15 working days with corrective actions and its plan to comply with federal law. The warning letter
noted that failure to comply could result in fines, seizures or injunction.
"Regardless of where products like e-cigarettes fall on the continuum of tobacco product risk, the law is clear that, before marketing tobacco products for reduced risk, companies must demonstrate with scientific evidence that their specific product does in fact pose less risk or is less harmful. JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation's youth," Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said in a statement.
"We will continue to scrutinize tobacco product marketing and take action as appropriate to ensure that the public is not misled into believing a certain product has been proven less risky or less harmful," he said. "We've also put the industry on notice: If the disturbing rise in youth e-cigarette use continues, especially through the use of flavors that appeal to kids, we'll take even more aggressive action."
The FDA sent a separate letter to Juul "expressing concern, and requesting more information, about several issues raised in a recent Congressional hearing regarding JUUL's outreach and marking practices, including those targeted at students, tribes, health insurers and employers."
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