Juul Labs reportedly facing scrutiny for allegedly targeting minors

Joanna Estrada
August 30, 2019

Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns went as far as to say: "Don't vape".

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that "e-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not now use tobacco products".

"Don't use the product".

Burns also said it was true that the long-term effects of vaping are unknown.

When asked how he could sell vaping products with no knowledge of the long-term effects, Burns said, "We think we have a product that is legal today, is tested for toxicity, and does not present, you know, a risk based on the guidelines of the category today to the American public".

Well, you'd hope so, wouldn't you?

The company's rapid rise to the top of the multi-billion dollar USA e-cigarette market has been accompanied by accusations from parents, politicians and public health advocates that Juul fueled a vaping craze among high schoolers. In fact, the company has announced on Wednesday that it plans to offer incentives for any retailers who install a brand-new electronic age verification system at their point of sale.

The American Food and Drug Administration has called teen vaping an "epidemic".

It remains to be seen whether or not the FTC will determine that Juul has indeed been intentionally targeting minors, but as underage vaping grows in popularity, it'll get tougher and tougher for e-cigarette makers in general to fight such investigations. The company has shut down its Facebook and Instagram pages and pulled several of its flavored products out of retail stores. It is partially owned by Altria, the tobacco giant behind Marlboro.

The group is seeking refunds for purchases of Juul products and an injunction to prevent the company from continuing to market to children and non-smokers.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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