Juul e-cigarettes has launched a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign telling smokers to “make the switch” from traditional tobacco cigarettes to their product. As a result, they are facing criticism by public health advocates. These advocates say that tagline is an “illegal, smoking cessation claim.”
A letter sent to the FDA from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Truth Initiative called the company “irresponsible” in its advertising.
“Juul, a product that FDA has found to be largely responsible for the current epidemic of youth usage of highly addictive e-cigarettes, is being advertised and marketed on a massive scale as a smoking cessation product, without the required review and approval by FDA.”
It is illegal to market a product as a smoking cessation device without the proper review and approval of the FDA. The agency has granted this approval designation to a few products, including nicotine gums, patches, lozenges and two nicotine-free prescription drugs. However, the FDA has not approved any e-cigarette for the purpose of smoking cessation.
This is the advertisement in question:
An FDA spokesman, Michael Felberbaum reiterated that agency’s position on e-cigarettes: “the FDA has not approved any e-cigarette product as a smoking cessation aid under the safety and efficacy standard governing FDA-regulated medical products.”
Juul makes up 75 percent of the e-cigarette market and that is expected to grow now that Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, backs the company. The organizations who wrote the FDA letter are calling for an investigation into the matter.