FDA Bans Juul From Selling E-Cigarettes In U.S.

FDA Bans Juul From Selling E-Cigarettes In U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration banned Juul from selling its e-cigarettes in the United States Thursday in a major setback for the one the world’s most valuable unicorns.

The FDA’s order affects all of the company’s products sold in the United States, which makes up the majority of Juul’s sales, according to the New York Times. Juul has been criticized for perpetuating teen vaping through its e-cigarettes, which come in flavors like mango and mint.

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Juul said it would appeal the FDA’s ruling, according to the New York Times, but it’s unclear where the future of the company stands. It ranks as the 10th most valuable private company in the world, according to the Crunchbase Unicorn Board. 

Juul funding history

Before criticism of the company intensified, Juul raised billions from investors including Tiger Global Management, Manhattan Venture Partners, and Fidelity.

Its most recent round of funding was in December 2018, when tobacco giant Altria invested $12.8 billion in the company, taking a 35% stake in the company and minting Juul with a $38 billion valuation.

Before that, it raised money in late 2018 from investors including Tiger Global Management, Tao Capital Partners, and Sand Hill Angels. It’s unclear when the company reached unicorn status, or a $1 billion valuation.

Before regulators began scrutinizing the company and its advertising tactics, Juul had more than 4,000 employees. Now it’s headcount is down to around 1,000, mostly in the U.S., and its revenue fell from $2 billion in 2019 to $1.3 billion in 2021, according to the New York Times.


Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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Author: Sophia Kunthara