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Battle Over Your Juul Has Begun



Photo: Seth Wenig

Despite the announcement of Scott Gottlieb's sudden resignation from the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month, the FDA commissioner said he remains confident that tighter regulation of e-cigarette and tobacco industries following his departure will continue. Squawk Box this week, Gottlieb said that policies he has initiated while in his role will move forward as planned, including proposed restrictions on the FDA issued Wednesday that would restrict the sale of flavored e-cig products. Asked specifically about the meeting he had this week with the large tobacco giant Altria and Juul-two companies he's specifically zeroed in on in recent months after their $ 12.8 billion deal last year – he reiterated previous statements he made that if youth vaping numbers continue to rise as they

"If the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey – which we are in the field with right now collecting that data – shows another spike in teen use, we're going to be back making a new policy in the fall, "he said. "And one of the things we're going to have to examine is whether we take the entire category of e-cigarettes off the market. At some point, the use of these products becomes so intolerable that they have no redeeming public health value, and we will just sweep the market of those products. And that includes Juul. "

According to a report from the New York Times on Friday, Gottlieb's departure from the FDA has some big tobacco groups looking to seize the opportunity. Conservative lobbying groups and retailers that have been poised to be impacted by their new restrictions have reportedly descended on Washington in attempts to curb proposed restrictions, which include prohibiting minors in stores where flavored e-cig products are sold as well as implementing

"We are committed to reducing youth use while preserving our opportunity to eliminate combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world," Juul said in a statement Wednesday in response the FDA's proposed restrictions. "As part of our action plan deployed in November 2018 to keep JUUL products out of the hands of youth, we stopped selling flavored JUULpods to retail stores, strengthened our retail compliance and secret shopper program, enhanced our online age-verification, exited our Facebook and Instagram accounts and are continually working to remove inappropriate third-party social media content. "

Dismantling systems that enable Gottlieb to classify as an epidemic of youth vaping have been among his top priorities during his time at the FDA. Gottlieb has come down especially hard on Juul, the preferred choice among teens and a product he has repeatedly accused of reneging on promises to commit to keeping his products out of the hands of his minors, especially after he married his deal with Marlboro's maker. 19659004] Gottlieb is making some pretty big claims about the future of e-cigs as he's got one foot out of the door. (19659004) [CNBC, New York Times]

This e-cigarette is sold in the United States,
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