Today's action should serve to put retailers on notice to stop selling products to minors.
The FDA's action came in response to last week's letter from 11 U.S. Senators, including Democrat Dick Durbin of IL, calling on the FDA to ban candy and fruit flavorings in e-cigarettes and cigars. The company's prevention efforts seem to focus mainly on educating retailers and advocating technology that prevents underage people from buying JUUL devices in the first place.
No one could be reached at Mode E Cigarettes.
Critics argue flavors like "creme brulee" attract kids and mask the fact that one pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
"I bet most parents don't have a clue, because it looks just like a flash drive", she said.
In a rare move, the FDA is issuing a 904 (b) letter, which refers to the section of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA made a decision a year ago to delay its regulation of e-cigarette products and flavorings from 2018-2022.
As part of the FDA initiative, regulators are asking Juul Labs to turn over documents about the design and marketing of its devices.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Juul and other e-cigarette companies have launched new flavors without approval from the FDA, which is a mandatory step under the FDA regulations set forth during the summer of 2016.
That's the sales pitch made by Juul and many other e-cigarette manufacturers: "Juul delivers nicotine satisfaction akin to a cigarette in a format that's as simple and easy to use, ' states the company's website".
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Juul sales have exploded over the past two years and the brand now accounts for 55 percent of the U.S. market for e-cigarettes, according to industry figures.
A Juul spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. E-cigarettes and other vaping products have grown into a $4 billion market in the US despite little research on their long-term effects, including whether they are helpful in helping smokers quit cigarettes.
The FDA said that since early March it has uncovered 40 violations throughout the country of illegal sales of Juul products to children and teens.
The FDA said that it is continuing to conduct a nationwide, undercover "blitz" on retailers throughout the USA that will continue until the end of the month. "In recent months, Juul Labs has captured close to half the estimated $2 billion e-cigarette category, according to a Wells Fargo analysis of Nielsen sales data", Chaudhuri and Chaker continue.
"We're thankful for eBay's swift action to remove the listings and voluntarily implement new measures to prevent new listings from being posted to the web retailer's site".
"Let me be clear to retailers", Gottlieb wrote.
In response to calls for regulation, JUUL Labs announced that they would be investing $30 million in the next three years to conduct independent research, youth and parent education, and community engagement efforts.
"As we work to keep kids from making the deadly progression from experimentation to regular cigarette use, it's imperative that we also make sure children and teenagers aren't getting hooked on more novel nicotine-delivery products", the FDA's release about the "new actions and efforts" proclaims.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. "We at HHS are proud of the work Commissioner Gottlieb and the FDA are doing to crack down on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to minors".