Jul 13, 2019

Juul CEO apologizes to parents, says more studies needed

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Juul CEO Kevin Burns admitted his company doesn't know much about the long-term effects of vaping, and apologized to parents whose teens are addicted to the company's products, in an interview scheduled to air Monday on CNBC.

Why it matters: Teen vaping is being treated as a national epidemic, and there is little research about its long-term effects on users. Lawmakers are debating how to regulate vaping products, with some legislators pushing to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 to curb teen use of e-cigarettes.

"First of all, I'd tell them I'm sorry that their child is using the product. It's not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I'm sorry for them and have empathy for them with the challenges they are going through."
— Juul CEO Kevin Burns

Context: Juul released its first public health study in Feb. 2019, looking for differences between cigarette smokers who completely quit versus those who transitioned to Juul products, reports Business Insider. The company found no difference between the two, but the trial presents some limitations because it didn't look at users who use both traditional burned cigarettes and vaping products.

Go deeper: Tobacco use is soaring among U.S. kids, driven by e-cigarettes

Go deeper

Juul's growing kids crisis

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Juul's campaign to convince America it does not target kids to vape is getting crushed by lawmakers, attorney generals and the media. The backlash is wicked — and widespread: 

Driving the news: Attorneys general from Illinois and Washington, D.C. are launching new investigations into Juul, and how the company's e-cigarettes became so popular with young people, reports AP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a formal warning on Friday against the broad use of e-cigarettes and recommended users avoid buying bootlegged vaping products.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 30, 2019

Doctors, specialists fear "unseen consequences" of teen e-cigarette addiction

The contents of an electronic Juul cigarette box in 2018. Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors and leading addiction specialists are worried that the "unseen consequences" of teenage vaping and Juul addictions are greater than previously realized, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: E-cigarettes allow users to ingest more nicotine than they would using traditional cigarettes. Addiction treatment specialists say that some teenagers who use e-cigarettes show signs of nicotine toxicity and respiratory problems. Doctors note that teenagers use e-cigarettes at faster rates than traditional cigarettes, and experts worry they make teenagers more vulnerable to other kinds of substance abuse.

Go deeperArrowJul 26, 2019

FDA receives 92 new reports of seizures after vaping

Juul e-cigarette. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating 127 cases of people, particularly children and young adults, who experienced seizures after using e-cigarettes, CNBC reports.

What's happening: The FDA began this investigation in spring, but has recently received about 92 new reports of seizures after vaping. The agency says the evidence has has not established if e-cigarettes directly caused the seizures, and stressed that the 127 cases occurred over 10 years.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019