(The Hill) — A federal appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked the Food and Drug Administration’s order banning the sale of Juul e-cigarettes, giving a reprieve to the company while the court hears more arguments.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted Juul’s request to stay the order until the court has time to hear further argument on the issue. The court noted its stay does not reflect on how it will rule on the substance of the case.
The move comes one day after the FDA banned sales of Juul’s e-cigarettes in a major blow against the company.
Juul has been at the center of controversy over the rise of youth vaping.
In making its order, the FDA cited “insufficient and conflicting data” from the company about “potentially harmful chemicals leaching” from its products.
In its court filing, Juul pushed back by calling the FDA’s order “arbitrary and capricious.”
The company said the move came “after immense political pressure from Congress once it became politically convenient to blame [Juul] for youth vaping, even though several of its competitors now have a larger market share and much higher underage-use rates.”
The FDA’s order came as part of its broader review of e-cigarettes and amid concern about teenage use of the products.
A debate has unfolded over the balance between preventing more young people from using e-cigarettes on one hand, and providing options for adult smokers who are looking to quit on the other.
Health groups had praised the FDA’s order on Thursday.
“Juul was the most popular e-cigarette among teens for several years and remains among the most popular today,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “Ending the sale of all Juul products, including its menthol flavor, sends the message to companies that their blatant disregard for public health will not be tolerated.”