Oct. 3, 2019
A new report indicates JUUL could face a criminal investigation in California, although talk of the investigation is still in the early stages.
The e-cigarette maker recently received a warning to stop marketing its product as safer than tobacco cigarettes, while Walmart has said it would no longer sell the vape devices.
Meanwhile, the fallout from recent testimony continues, as JUUL CEO Kevin Burns is now being replaced.
JUUL knowingly targeted children and youths and misled consumers into thinking its products are safe, despite not having evidence that the claim is true.
Too many youths and young adults started using JUUL and are now addicted, and they face potentially devastating consequences for their health. JUUL and its officials must be held accountable for their actions.
JUUL Criminal Investigation
Early reports suggest the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California has begun the early stages of a criminal investigation into JUUL in California. The office has not confirmed or denied any such investigation. So far, the focus of the probe has not been made public.
JUL CEO Steps Down as Company Ceases US Advertising
Recently JUUL announced it was withdrawing all its US advertising, following widespread criticism that the e-cigarette maker purposely misled consumers about its devices’ safety and targeted its marketing to youths.
The JUUL youth epidemic has raised the concerns of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Surgeon General. The US government recently stepped in as well, announcing plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes, while New York and Michigan already have bans on flavored vape devices.
The suspension of marketing includes all broadcast, print, and digital advertising, although CBS, WarnerMedia and Viacom had already said they would not air any JUUL advertisements.
The FDA previously said it was considering levying fines against JUUL for promotions that marketed the company’s products as safer than tobacco cigarettes. Under federal regulations, the FDA must approve any health claims about products being safer than cigarettes.
Kevin Burns, JUUL chief executive, said he was stepping down from his position noting this is “the right time” for him to leave his position with the company. JUUL has already announced KC Crosthwaite replaces Burns, effective immediately.
FDA Launches E-Cigarette Criminal Probe
In response to the high number of vaping-related illnesses, the FDA announced it is launching a criminal investigation of its own. As of Sept. 19, there were 530 reports of respiratory illnesses linked to vaping devices, but so far no single factor has emerged consistently in all cases.
At least 7 people have died and injuries have been reported in 38 states. So far, more than half of those who fell ill are younger than 25 and 33 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34. Almost 75 percent are male.
“We are in desperate need of facts,” said FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller.
The FDA’s investigation will examine the vape products, where they are purchased and how they are used.
Vitamin E acetate has appeared in some FDA lab samples and some patients said they used e-cigarette products that contained THC, but neither ingredient was linked to all cases.
Earlier in September, US Reps. Diana DeGette, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Peter King announced a new congressional caucus is being formed with the goal of addressing the high number of teens using e-cigarettes.
Too many children and youths have been affected by the e-cigarette epidemic, believing that vape devices were safe for them to use. These JUUL youths are now at risk of suffering serious health consequences and e-cigarette side effects, including JUUL respiratory distress.
The JUUL California investigation may just be the start of more information on how these companies operate coming out. Companies like JUUL must be held accountable for marketing their products to children and encouraging them to use the vape devices.
If a child or young adult you know began using JUUL with no history of tobacco use, you may be eligible to file a JUUL lawsuit.