PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The FDA banned Juul e-cigarettes from being sold in the United States on Thursday, but consumers aren’t restricted from having or using the products. The Philadelphia Health Department is applauding the FDA action.

In a statement, they blamed Juul for the vaping epidemic that many doctors say is dangerous and unhealthy.

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After the FDA banned Juul e-cigarettes, the Lung Association tweeted, “The decision is welcomed and long overdue.”

The move comes with health concerns mounting about the popularity of Juul pods, especially among young smokers.

“I don’t know, I think it’s a mental thing,” one person said.

In a major step to reverse the trend, the FDA has denied the company’s application to sell its product in the United States, pulling Juul off store shelves.

“If we’re going to continue to make the progress in reducing youth cigarette smoking and e-cigarette smoking this decision is a critical next step,” President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Matthew Myers said.

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Teen e-cigarette use skyrocketed more than 70% after Juul’s launch in 2015, with marketing and social media campaigns appealing to young people.

“The levels of addiction you just see walking through locker bay, with Juuls is phenomenally high,” student Devin Bahr said.

Juul touted its product as a safer alternative to cigarettes, but researchers say a standard 5% Juul pol has as much nicotine as a 20-pack carton of regular cigarettes, one of the highest any e-cigarette on the market.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Juul.

In 2020, Philadelphia sued the company for “intentionally marketing its unsafe products directly to the city’s youth, including school-age minors,” blaming Juul for dramatic increases in youth vaping that followed years of declining smoking rates.

Juul maintains its e-cigarette ads weren’t part of a deliberate effort to target youths. After pulling most of its flavors except menthol in the U.S., its sales have fallen recently.

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In disagreeing with the FDA, Juul says it will try to put the ban on hold while it considers options, including a possible appeal.