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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accusing e-cigarette companies Juul and Altria of not following through on promises they made to actively prevent minors from obtaining their products, which public health health experts believe are being used to get young people addicted to nicotine.

According to a story in the New York Times, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb “is drafting letters to both companies that will criticize them for publicly pledging to remove nicotine flavor pods from store shelves, while secretly negotiating a financial partnership that seems to do the opposite. He plans to summon top executives of the companies to F.D.A. headquarters to explain how they will stick to their agreements given their new arrangement.”

At issue, the story says, is a deal announced in December which had Altria purchasing a 35 percent stake in Juul, which has to this point dominAted the e-cigarette market. The FDA seems concerned that while Juul was committing to various steps that would reduce minors’ access to the category, the Altria connection would actually give it far greater marketing muscle - not to mention lobbying muscle that could be used to fight any federal regulation of the category.

Executives from both Juul and Altria deny that have any such intention, and continue to pledge to decrease kids’ access to their products.
KC's View:
I find it sort of amusing that companies like Altria and Juul are being accused of acting in bad faith.

Of course they are acting in bad faith. That’s what these companies do. That’s what they’ve always done … all with the goal of selling their poison to new generations of consumers, which will then become addicted and keep them in business long enough to get the next generation addicted. And if that means spending millions on lobbying to make sure that public health officials can’t do their jobs, then that’s what they’ll do.