KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Food and Drug Administration is ordering Juul e-cigarettes off the market.
The FDA cites numerous concerns and a marketing strategy that seemed to target teenagers. That government regulatory agency also complained that Juul’s manufacturer failed to share its research with the FDA, despite demands to do so.
Pediatricians in the Kansas City area are celebrating this ban as a victory.
Dr. Kelsey Ragsdale, a physician with Pediatric Associates, said she distrusted all e-cigarettes, but the ease for teenagers to acquire Juul products makes it especially risky.
Ragsdale said she often treats young patients who suffer from mental health conditions and respiratory issues, many of whom shared that they’d regularly vaped.
“(The ban) makes it less easy and that was one of the problems,” Ragsdale said. “When you actually ask kids if all of their vaping devices have nicotine in them, a decent percentage of them think there’s not nicotine.”
Studies have proven Juul products contain a certain level of addictive nicotine, whereas, early marketing campaigns touted vaping as a safe, non-addictive alternative to traditional cigarette smoking. Dr. Ragsdale said teenage patients confess to trying vape, hoping it will relax or satisfy them, somehow.
“The side effects of that substance can actually be more anxiety and stress or depression, which is then, a negative cycle. They keep going back, but it may actually be causing or contributing to those mental health side effects,” Ragsdale said.
The American Lung Association is among the public health advocacies praising the FDA’s ban. Juul’s parent company disagrees with this ban, saying it has cooperated with government inquiries. People FOX4 News spoke with on the Country Club Plaza seemed to support the ban.
“I think it’s ridiculous that we market safer options that aren’t actually safer,” Rachel Osborne said. “I’m a pharmacist ,and as a pharmacist, I disagree with marketing certain products as safer when these kids — typically kids — think it’s a safer option when they’re not.”
“I think just because they don’t have access to it, I’m sure there are other companies they’ll have access to. Maybe it will send a good message. That’s the main one,” Maria Toscano said.
At the retail level, stores appear to be in limbo. Employees at a smoke shop on W. 39th Street told FOX4 they’re not sure what will happen to their present inventory of JUULs. One worker there said it’s a minor setback, since she has other brands that outsell Juul to begin with.
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