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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has just three days until it must finally decide which e-cigarette brands and products — including Juul — can stay on the market.

So far, the agency has only reviewed a small portion of the 6.5 million applications it has received — making it seem highly unlikely that the FDA will be able to cross this particular finish line. The FDA also hasn’t given the judge who set the Sept. 9 deadline any indication that it’s about to miss it, despite the fact that e-cigarette makers, and even another federal agency, have been begging the FDA for extensions.


What happens if the FDA announces later this week that it hasn’t finished its work is anybody’s guess. Industry attorneys tell STAT they believe the FDA has the power to issue extensions to make sure companies that haven’t heard from the agency aren’t forced to shut down. Tobacco control advocates, whose lawsuit set up the deadline in the first place, insist the FDA can’t do that. They say that any unapproved products will have to be pulled from store shelves unless the FDA asks the judge for extensions.

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