OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Tobacco shop owners in the Oklahoma City metro are reacting to the recent FDA ban and subsequent emergency appeal for the product.
The FDA banned the vaping devices, and then it was lifted after Juul filed an emergency appeal with the FDA, allowing Juul e-cigarettes to once again be sold while a federal court reviews the FDA ban.
The FDA argues Juul hasn’t done their part to ensure customer’s health and safety.
“When you use an e-cigarette, you’re inhaling chemicals into your lungs from the flavoring, nicotine, all sorts of compounds that may not be safe for our respiratory health,” said Erin Vogel, incoming assistant professor at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Erin Vogel says for years, juul’s e-cigarettes were considered a safer alternative to smoking, but the FDA says the company has provided insufficient and conflicting data on their product.
The FDA noted that some of the biggest sellers like Juul may have played a “disproportionate″ role in the rise in teen vaping.
“One concern with that is that teenagers might transition to using combustible cigarettes for smoking, which of course, is extremely harmful to them. Nicotine can impact the developing brain, so it really is a problem when teenagers use it,” said Vogel.
A local Oklahoma City tobacco shop owner saw a price spike from the distributor after the FDA issued a ban.
Customers cleared his shelves, stocking up on the device.
“We absolutely have people coming in, and they were panicked. They didn’t think they were going to be able to get their device any longer or the pods for it. So, they did come in and buy a lot of them. Basically, we sold out,” said Craig Majors, owner of Liquid Vapor Lounge in Oklahoma City.
Craig Majors hopes Juul can reach an agreement with the FDA, believing the device can help people quit smoking.
“It’s a great alternative to combustible tobacco. And by the FDA banning this, I feel like they have just like kicked open the door to continue doing the same to other companies, which in America, 480,000 people die yearly of smoking cigarettes…it’s a really bad thing,” said Majors.
The FDA has until this coming Thursday to respond to the motion for appeal, and then Juul will have until July 12th to respond to the FDA’s decision.