By Bridgette Webb
Juul finally bowed to regulators this week and pulled most nicotine pods from retail stores in what some are calling a transparent move to prevent legal action.
"They are making this move because they see very clearly that the FDA isn't messing around," Sam Baker, healthcare editor for Axios, said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar.
In response to intense scrutiny from the FDA for contributing to a spike in teen vaping, the San Francisco-based company, which has more than 70 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market share, said it would halt sales of its mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber-flavored pods at more than 90,000 retail stores and require additional age verification for online sales of the flavors. It said it would also shut down its social media account to prevent glamorizing its products.
The FDA is expected later this week to announce a ban on sales of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations and strengthen the requirements for age verification of online sales of e-cigarettes.
"Commissioner Scott Gottlieb was very serious when he said he was going to crack down on these products," Baker said.
In a tweet Tuesday afternoon Gottlieb said: “Voluntary action is no substitute for regulatory steps #FDA will soon take. But we want to recognize actions by Juul today and urge all manufacturers to immediately implement steps to start reversing these trends.”
Commissioner Gottlieb has publicly called on e-cigarettes makers to self-regulate, but Baker noted that it's still too early to see if Juul's move was too little too late.
"This is what he has been encouraging them to do," Baker said. "I think that they will get some credit from him, it's just a matter of how much."
For full interview click here.