Juul asks court to temporarily block FDA ban on e-cigarettes

Juul brand cartridges are sold in a store in Atlanta, Georgia.

Elijah Nuvlage | Reuters

On Friday, Juul asked a federal appeals court to temporarily block the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on e-cigarettes.

Request came in less than a day after the company was told by the health agency that it must withdraw its vaping products from the US market immediately. According to the FDA, Juul’s filings to continue selling its vaping device and menthol-tobacco flavored nicotine pods provided insufficient or conflicting data about the potential risks of using the company’s products.

Juul disagreed, saying in a statement that he provided enough research and evidence to address the issues raised by the agency. The company’s regulatory director Joe Murillo said Thursday that Juul is exploring options, including appealing the decision or engaging directly with the FDA.

In a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Juul requested an emergency administrative stay until he can file a motion for a pre-trial stay by Monday afternoon. If approved, the company and retailers will be able to continue to distribute and sell Juul products until a court reviews the agency’s decision.

“[Juul’s] the only opportunity for significant relief that will allow it to continue selling its products is an immediate suspension,” the company said in a statement.

Juul said it was treated unfairly by the FDA compared to other e-cigarette manufacturers. According to the statement, the agency’s press release announcing its decision regarding Juul products was “more blunt and threatening” than previous denials.

“The FDA’s decision is arbitrary and capricious and contains no substantive evidence, and an immediate administrative stay is critical to protect [Juul Labs Inc.]its commercial partners and customers,” Juul said.

The company also urged the agency to take immediate action rather than set a transition period, which is typical unless the product poses an immediate risk to consumers.

The FDA declined to comment.