FDA will reportedly seek more time before deciding if Juul can keep selling its e-cigarettes

A sign advertising Juul brand vaping products is seen outside a shop in New York City, February 6, 2019.

Mike Segar | Reuters

The Food and Drug Administration will reportedly seek more time before deciding if Juul can continue to sell its e-cigarettes in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

A court mandate created a timeline for the agency to review vaping products, following years of pressure from politicians and public health groups to regulate the segment as strictly as other tobacco products.

The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

The FDA has until Thursday to review roughly 6.5 million products from about 500 companies and decide if those products can continue to be sold. It said that it would fast track decisions on the market leaders, like Juul. The FDA has already denied about 55,000 applications from smaller players like JD Nova Group and Great American Vapes for their flavored vape products.

Juul has been the market leader in e-cigarettes since 2018, according to Euromonitor International. As of 2020, the company held 54.7% share of the $9.38 billion U.S. e-vapor market.

Marlboro owner Altria bought a 35% stake in the company for $12.8 billion in late 2018. However, Altria has slashed the value of the investment as Juul and the broader e-cigarette industry became embroiled in controversy. As of September 2020, Altria valued its stake at $1.6 billion, an eighth of its original investment, and Juul itself at under $5 billion.

Read more about the FDA’s decision here.

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