New York health advocates and state lawmakers who have sought to limit the spread of vaping products in the state cheered the federal Food and Drug Administration's decision on Thursday to pull Juul products off the shelves.
The decision by the FDA comes after a years-long rise in vaping usage, especially among teenagers. In New York, tobacco usage has dropped significantly among kids under the age of 18 but has steadily increased when it comes to vaping.
“Today’s decision is another step in protecting our nation’s youth from using e-cigarettes," said Parag Mehta, the president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. "It will play a significant role in preventing tobacco companies from using e-cigarette products to addict yet another generation of children to nicotine. As physicians, we know the importance of developing healthy habits in childhood. Today’s decision is an important step in helping our children achieve wellness throughout their lives."
New York lawmakers and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019 agreed to raise the age to purchase both tobacco and e-cigarette products from 18 to 21.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal first introduced proposals meant to regulate the e-cigarette market in 2009. She called the FDA's decision to yank Juul from shelves an important step, but more work is needed on the issue.
"Just like you can’t put the vape back in the pen, we cannot put the vaping genie back in the bottle, but we can commit to addressing the continuing public health crisis caused by Big Tobacco 2.0, by investing resources in prevention, education and treatment and recovery services," she said. "And no doubt Juul will sue to contest the FDA's decision. I will continue to lead this fight and work with my colleagues to provide support to young people and adults who need assistance on their journey to stop vaping."