Juul gets a temporary reprieve to keep selling its e-cigarettes

A federal appeals court on Friday granted Juul Labs a temporary reprieve that would allow it to keep its e-cigarettes on the market pending further judicial review of the ruling the day before. The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of the company’s products.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the temporary residence permit that Juul sought. The appeals court’s brief ruling warned that the stay “should in no way be construed as a decision on the merits”.

The suspension follows an FDA order Thursday, when the agency said Juul had to stop selling its products because it provided conflicting and insufficient data that prevented the FDA from assessing the potential health risks of its products.

An appeals court will have to decide whether to continue to allow Juul to sell its products while the company files an appeal against the FDA’s decision. The court gave Juul until Monday noon to file an additional petition and gave the FDA until July 7 to file a response petition.

In its emergency suspension filing, Juul argued that the FDA’s decision to ban sales was motivated by political forces that sought to blame the company for the youth vaping crisis. The FDA ruled against Juul “after huge political pressure from Congress,” the statement said, “although some of its competitors now have larger market share and much higher rates of underage use.”

However, the FDA did not refer to minor use in its decision to ban Juul from sale. Rather, the agency said Juul did not provide sufficient evidence that its product prevents chemicals from the device from entering the nicotine vapor that users inhale.

While the moratorium is in effect, consumers will be able to buy Juul cartridges and its tobacco and menthol flavored capsules. The FDA has warned that retailers selling Juul products will be subject to enforcement action at some point, but not as long as the moratorium is in place.

In its lawsuit, Juul said the agency’s decision “has already had the intended effect,” pointing out that some retailers have stopped selling Juul products.

The FDA is not seeking a total ban on all vaping products. As part of its new regulatory authority over so-called electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS, the agency is reviewing applications for millions of products. He has already given permission 23 of them, including the market leader Vuse Alto, which is made by RJ Reynolds, and several others made by NJoy and Logic. (Applications for a million other products were rejected.)

As part of its review, the agency must consider whether the product is a viable alternative to combustible tobacco that can help smokers quit cigarettes and whether the public health harm outweighs the benefit.

The top-selling vaping brand in the US over the past 12 weeks was Vuse Alto, which earned $414 million in sales and accounted for 33.4 percent of the entire e-cigarette market, according to Nielsen data. In second place was Juul with a 33 percent market share. None of the other brands come close to these two companies; the next best-selling brand, NJoy Ace, accounted for just 2.4% of the market.

The U.S. tobacco industry generated about $99 billion in revenue last year, compared to $7.8 billion for vaping products like Juul, according to research firm Euromonitor. But tobacco sales are on the decline: Euromonitor estimates that cigarette sales will fall by about 13 percent through 2026, while vaping sales are expected to grow by about 22 percent. Altria, the tobacco giant, which acquired a 35 percent stake in July 2018, said its sales fell slightly last year. according to regulatory documents.

There are an estimated 30 million traditional cigarette smokers in the US, and that number has been declining for decades.