Juul Labs Inc. was warned by U.S. health officials that it may have violated the law by making claims its e-cigarette devices are safe; this coming at the same time a mysterious lung ailment is raising new questions about the health effects of vaping.
The Food and Drug Administration sent Juul a warning letter on Monday that said the agency had determined that the company has marketed its products as less risky than cigarettes without gaining the agency’s approval. The FDA also sent Juul a letter requesting documents related to the company’s advertising and promotional efforts, given that its vape devices “continue to represent a significant proportion of the overall use” of e-cigarettes by children. Juul halted much of its social-media marketing last year after criticism that its stylish ads on Instagram and other apps targeted younger users.
“Juul has ignored the law, and, very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation’s youth,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. In response, Ted Kwong, a Juul spokesman, said, “we are reviewing the letters and will fully cooperate,”
Juul has pitched its sleek, USB-like vaping device as a way for adults to quit smoking — though the FDA said that the company also targeted students.
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