US ban on Juul vaping products put on hold in court

A US court on Friday put on hold the health regulator’s decision to order all of Juul Labs vaping products off the American market over safety concerns.

A federal appeals court in the US capital issued a temporary stay of the Food and Drug Administration’s ban of sales of Juul e-cigarettes, imposed over the vaping giant’s failure to address “the toxicological profile of the products.”

The court, however, underscored that its ruling Friday was not a reflection on the merits of the case, but rather was needed to give itself more time to study the case.

The FDA’s decision Thursday paved the way for Juul’s rival brands to increase their share of the market it once dominated.

It was also a blow for tobacco giant Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, which acquired a 35 stake in Juul in 2018 to diversify its business strategy in the face of falling smoking rates.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Juul is exploring the possibility of filing for bankrupcy protection if the FDA ban is upheld.

Reached by AFP Friday, the FDA declined to comment. — Agence France-Presse

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