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India's Health Ministry Calls For Blocking Juul's Entry Into Country

“Novel products such as ‘JUUL’ are harmful and addictive and could potentially undermine our tobacco control efforts,” Health Secretary Preeti Sudan cited.

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India’s health ministry has called for Juul Labs Inc’s electronic cigarettes to be blocked from entering the country, a letter seen by Reuters showed, potentially dealing a blow to the U.S. company’s plans to tap the South Asian market. 

Juul has plans to launch its products in India by late 2019 as it looks to expand away from its home turf. The company has hired new executives and plans to open an India subsidiary, Reuters reported in January.

Citing the Reuters article, India’s top health official wrote a letter to the federal commerce secretary in February, saying necessary measures should be taken to “prevent entry of such products in our markets”.

“Novel products such as ‘JUUL’ are harmful and addictive and could potentially undermine our tobacco control efforts,” Health Secretary Preeti Sudan wrote in her letter dated Feb. 18.

“It is felt that the young generation would be particularly vulnerable to such products and gimmicks.”

Asked for a comment on the letter, Juul spokeswoman Victoria Davis said the company was “open to dialogue with lawmakers and regulators in order to help switch” adult smokers in India to a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes.

Juul has previously said India was among the Asian markets under evaluation, but there were no “definitive plans”.

The details of Sudan’s letter have not previously been reported. She also sent a copy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.


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