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Pallone Calls on FDA to Protect NJ Youth & Regulate Juuling

March 26, 2018
Press Release

Long Branch, N.J. – Today in Highland Park outside a former vaping shop, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), municipal leaders and health advocate called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action to regulate “Juuling” and protect children from its harmful effects. Earlier this month, Pallone sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb voicing his concerns over FDA’s decision to delay a rule that will allow JUUL to stay on the market until 2022 without premarket review by the FDA.  This will mean that JUUL will stay on the market for over four more years without proper public health oversight. JUUL, is a type of e-cigarette that has become increasingly popular among teenagers since its launch in 2015.

“The availability of JUUL and e-cigarettes to youth is extremely troubling, and I am deeply concerned that FDA’s delay of the final deeming rule will lead to more kids and teens using these harmful products and getting addicted to nicotine,” said Pallone. “It is concerning to me that these products will continue to be disseminated, marketed, and utilized for several more years without FDA having all necessary information to evaluate the health risks and potential health implications for these products. There is simply no reason for FDA to not begin reviewing these products immediately.”

The need for FDA oversight has become all the more critical as e-cigarette products like JUUL have, according to recent press reports, become widely used by minors.  JUUL’s sleek design (it resembles a USB flash drive and can be charged in a computer) and flavors like “crème brulee,” “fruit medley,” and “cool cucumber” are especially concerning.  Nicotine containing products such as JUUL can be highly addictive.  JUUL itself advertises on its website that the device’s nicotine cartridge contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.  A study released earlier this year found that adolescents who use e-cigarettes are exposed to at least five different dangerous chemicals and that fruit-flavored products produced significantly higher levels of certain cancer-causing chemicals. 

Highland Park has been a leader in combatting the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes for children. The borough council passed an ordinance that fines electronic smoking retailers that sell products to underage youth. It also imposed a $1,200 licensing fee on all vape retailers to fund an enforcement program allowing health officers to conduct random inspections to verify compliance.