Juul hit with surprise FDA inspection over marketing practices

The FDA is cracking down on Juul’s marketing practices and appeal to teens.

Eva Hambach / AFP/Techhnews

E-cigarette maker Juul had a surprise visit from the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday. 

The FDA conducted an unannounced inspection of Juul Labs’ San Francisco headquarters, in which it sought more information about the e-cigarette maker’s sales and marketing practices, the agency said. It collected “over a thousand pages of documents.”

In April, the FDA requested information from Juul about its marketing practices and its appeal to teens, and announced an effort to stop youth from using tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes. The FDA also conducted inspections of many of Juul’s contract manufacturing facilities to make sure they were complying with FDA laws and regulatory requirements, the agency said. 

“Across this category, we are committed to taking all necessary actions, such as inspections and advancing new policies, to prevent a new generation of kids from becoming addicted to tobacco products,” the FDA said in a statement.

Juul has released more than 50,000 pages of documents to the FDA since April to support its public statements about preventing underage use, Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement.

“We want to engage with FDA, lawmakers, public health advocates and others to keep JUUL out of the hands of young people,” Burns said. “The meetings last week with FDA gave us the opportunity to provide information about our business from our marketing practices to our industry-leading online age-verification protocols to our youth prevention efforts. It was a constructive and transparent dialogue.”

Last month, the FDA told the makers of the five top-selling e-cigarette brands — Juul, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigarettes and Logic — that they had to submit plans within 60 days outlining how they’ll tackle youth access and use of their products. 

Burns said Juul looks forward to presenting its plan in the 60-day time frame. 

The FDA said “e-cigarettes are creating an epidemic of regular nicotine use among teens. It is vital that we take action to understand and address the particular appeal of, and ease of access to, these products among kids.”

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