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US wants to ban Juul vaping products: report

US health authorities want to ban Juul Labs products, raising new questions for Chief Executive KC Crosthwaite, shown here at a February 2020 congressional hearing. ©AFP

New York (AFP) - US health authorities are expected to order Juul Labs to stop selling e-cigarettes in the world's biggest economy, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The announcement, which could come as early as Wednesday, follows a two-year review of data presented in connection with Juul's application to sell tobacco- and menthol-flavored products in the United States, said the newspaper, which cited anonymous sources.

Juul did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The FDA also did not respond to a query. 

Juul has come under fire over its marketing of fruit and candy flavored e-cigarettes that had drawn in young consumers.

In January 2020, the FDA said sale of e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco or menthol would be illegal unless specifically authorized by the government.

The agency has approved some e-cigarette products from other makers such as Reynolds American, while taking a hard line on sweet or flavored products.

Juul has argued that vaping products can provide a solution to the harmful health impacts from conventional cigarettes.

Juul's products "exist only to transition adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes," Chief Executive KC Crosthwaite said on the company's website, adding that the company is "working hard" to rebuild its reputation following an "erosion of trust over the past few years."

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would develop a new policy requiring cigarette producers to reduce nicotine to non-addictive levels.

The initiative requires the FDA to develop and then publish a rule, which will likely be contested by industry.

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