Utah pulmonologist applauds FDA ban on Juul e-cigarettes

Jun 23, 2022, 5:00 PM
juul e-cigarette ban...
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2019, file photo, electronic cigarette pods are displayed for sale at a shop, in Biddeford, Maine. In June 2022, the FDA issued a ban on the sale of all Juul products in the United States. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The same day the Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on e-cigarettes made by Juul, the Utah medical community applauded the move. 

Dr. Sean Callahan, a pulmonologist at University of Utah Health, said an abundance of evidence demonstrates the dangers posed to kids and teens by e-cigarettes. 

“[Kids] aren’t using it the way that these companies have initially thought that [most people] would use these, which would be to help with smoking cessation,” Callahan said. “We may be actually going backwards… They’re setting themselves up for getting addicted to nicotine for a very long time.” 

Juul: A punitive response to aggressive marketing? 

Young people, Callahan said, may find nicotine even more addictive to them than older people do. And Juul, intentionally or not, grabbed the attention of young people when its e-cigarettes arrived on the scene. 

“Juul was the main driver for young people getting into vaping, you know, in the mid-2010s,” Callahan said. “I think Juul came about in 2015 or so.” 

In part, Callahan attributed Juul’s popularity among teens to what he described as an aggressive marketing campaign. 

“Lots of colors, flavors and young attractive people on their labels,” Callahan recalled.  

As a result, he believes the FDA specifically targeted Juul for the ban rather than any of the other available e-cigarette makers. 

“Some of this is assuredly punitive toward them because of what they perpetuated,” Callahan said. 

Doctor: Ban on Juul likely won’t eliminate all e-cigarettes 

In addition to a higher risk for addiction, Callahan pointed out that vaping poses other risks to people’s health. 

“They increase infection rates, so people can get pneumonias, can get other infections, upper respiratory tract infections,” he said. 

He does not think a ban on Juul will put an end to the demand for e-cigarettes overall. 

“I think it’s incredibly reasonable to think that people are going to move to other brands. That’s completely reasonable,” he said. 

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Utah pulmonologist applauds FDA ban on Juul e-cigarettes