Juul leaves vaping industry group amid dispute over FDA lawsuit

Juul leaves vaping industry group amid dispute over FDA lawsuit
© Getty Images

Juul is leaving the Vapor Technology Association, the advocacy group for the vapor and e-cigarette industry, because of the association’s lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Yesterday, Juul announced that it would not be renewing its membership with the Vapor Technology Association (VTA) citing the lawsuit that VTA recently filed against FDA and policy differences," the group said in an email to its membership on Wednesday that was obtained by The Hill.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent the FDA from enforcing its new May 2020 deadline for manufacturers to submit a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) for vapor products with nicotine. The group sued to delay the deadline, arguing that it could hurt smaller vaping companies.

ADVERTISEMENT

The VTA said it was “surprised” by Juul’s opposition to the filing, noting that the company's designated VTA board member “participated in the VTA Board meeting held to consider the lawsuit against FDA, but never objected.”

“In fact, the vote to move forward with the lawsuit was unanimous. Prior to the meeting, Juul had the relevant documents relating to VTA’s consideration of a potential lawsuit against FDA, but never objected or expressed opposition to the action,” the email read.

Juul, along with the vapor industry, also recently opposed a case in which the American Academy of Pediatrics tried to accelerate the PMTA deadline for vapor products.

The VTA added that, as a trade association, it has a diverse membership and that no single member can dictate policy. 

“We put our decisions through a regimented process to make sure they are based on sound and strategic rationale. We avoid taking reactionary positions based on transitional moments or the news of the day and remain focused on securing the long-term future of a diverse and well-regulated vapor industry,” the email read.

Juul, in a press release Wednesday, said it will not renew its membership with the VTA once it expires at the end of August because they "are not aligned on too many critical policy issues."

"For example, we support clean Tobacco 21 legislation and an outright ban on certain flavors," it added.

Juul said it is "fully committed" to the current PMTA process and "confident" in the materials it will submit with its application by May.

"We are not appealing the recent federal court case in the District of Maryland and similarly do not support the recent lawsuit against FDA filed by the Vapor Technology Association in the Eastern District of Kentucky," Juul said.

Updated at 5:40 p.m.