The troubled e-cigarette company Juul is no longer allowed to offer its products on the US home market. The FDA issued a sales ban on Thursday. At times, Juul had sold like hot cakes with its innovative flavored e-cigarettes that looked like USB sticks.
But then the start-up came under heavy criticism and was targeted by the supervisory authorities because of the offensive marketing of the products to younger target groups.
An e-cigarette epidemic among US youth put the FDA under pressure to act. Now the agency has concluded that Juul’s products pose too great a risk to public health and must be removed from the market. However, Juul can still appeal. Juul stopped selling fruit-flavored e-cigarettes, which were particularly popular with teenagers, in 2019, anticipating a ban.
The decision of the FDA is not only a bitter blow for Juul, but also for the US tobacco giant Altria. The Marlboro manufacturer bought a 35 percent stake in the San Francisco start-up in December 2018 for $12.8 billion (12.2 billion euros), the largest investment in the company’s history. Meanwhile, Altria has almost completely written off the stake. Most recently, she was still on the balance sheet with a value of 1.6 billion dollars.
The company had already withdrawn from the Austrian market in 2020.