National/World

Israel bans Juul e-cigarette

(JTA) – Juul’s rapid international expansion hit a speed bump on Aug. 21 when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned the Silicon Valley startup’s e-cigarettes at the request of local health officials. According to a Health Ministry statement cited by The Times of Israel, the popular e-cigs contain significantly higher levels of nicotine than competing brands and constitute “a grave danger to public health.” Juul has grown to dominate the U.S. market, making up more than half of domestic sales of e-cigarettes, Bloomberg reported. The devices have proven especially popular among teenagers, fueling concerns that the product will increase the rate of youth smoking. In a statement, Juul Labs said it was “incredibly disappointed” by Netyanyahu’s “misguided” decision, adding that it intended to fight the ban in order to give Israelis “a true alternative to combustible cigarettes.” The device itself debuted in Israel in May, selling for $32, with packs of four refills costing just under $20. The World Health Organization reports that 25.4 percent of Israelis 15 and older smoke tobacco; the global average is 21.9 percent.

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