The safety of e-cigarettes, especially the JUUL brand, has been called into question since they hit the market several years ago. Now, scientists are calling the chemicals used in the devices “potentially dangerous.”
The announcement comes as the FDA faces an upcoming deadline to keep e-cigarettes on the market.
The warning from scientists extends to other vaping products in addition to JUUL e-cigarettes.
According to the data from a recent study conducted by researchers at Yale and Duke Universities, certain flavors of vaping liquid could make it more challenging for users to breathe. The study found that “vape liquid” could produce harmful chemicals known as acetals when heated and irritate the throat and damage to the lungs.
Researchers stated they detected acetals in the crème brulee flavored vaping liquid. They did not test for other aldehydes but believe they might also be present. Despite the presence of these chemicals, they are not listed on the product’s label.
JUUL responded to the study claiming that the scientists failed to take into account any “real world” conditions. It also claimed the study overestimated how much is consumed when a person is using the vaping liquid.
Judge Orders Applications for Government Approval Due by Spring 2020
The study data was released just as JUUL and its rivals were given under a year to submit applications to the FDA regarding approval.
Vape devices and e-cigarettes originally came to market in the US without government approval, but in 2016, the FDA announced it would be extending its jurisdiction regarding tobacco products to include vape pens and e-cigarettes.
Originally, JUUL and other manufacturers were given until 2018 to submit their applications, but that deadline was extended to 2022. However, in July 2019, US District Judge Paul W. Grimm determined there needed to be a shorter deadline imposed for submitting applications.
In the statement Grimm issued with his ruling, he said, “the record before me shows a purposeful avoidance by the industry of complying with the premarket requirements.”
If JUUL and other companies do not have their applications in by May 2020, their product could be pulled from the market. Grimm also stated that the FDA should act on applications within a year of receipt or the products need to be removed from the market.
According to acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless, Judge Grimm’s ruling is “an important step forward” regarding public health. Sharpless believes it validates the agency’s commitment to review e-cigarettes and vape pens and pay special attention to how the products are affecting underage users.
Teen Use of E-Cigarettes Called an Epidemic by FDA Officials
The FDA recently called underage vaping an epidemic after federal data was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed nearly a quarter of all high schoolers tried vaping within the last year.
JUUL has also faced criticism and is under federal investigation regarding its marketing practices targeting teens. Critics say the flavored vaping liquid named after breakfast cereals and candies are especially appealing to young consumers. JUUL has managed to garner the majority of the e-cigarette market in just three short years.
Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.