JUUL CEO Apologizes To Parents

Say Contributor

Will no one think of the children? Well, Kevin Burns, the CEO of Juul Labs will. Burns recently apologized on behalf of his company, the most popular electronic cigarette on the market, for his product’s popularity with America’s youth. “First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product,” said Burns. “It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them....” Run The JUUL JUUL launched in 2015 and quickly began to take over the electronic cigarettes game, controlling 40% of the market. As the popularity of vaping jumped over the past several years, the company has become so big that Altria (which also owns Philip Morris), the top U.S. cigarette company, invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake. The Teens While those booming numbers are nice for JUUL and their shareholders, they have one big problem. One of the main groups that love to vape is teenagers, as federal data shows that nearly 21% of high school students hit the JUUL (or some other vaping device) last year. It has become so popular that the FDA recently declared teen vaping “an epidemic,” and former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and health care advocates blame the rise in teen vaping on JUUL, saying that fruit flavors such as mango give the product a youth appeal. The anti-smoking advocacy group Truth found that 15- 17-year-olds are over 16 times likelier odds to be JUUL users compared to those aged 25-34. DIsclosure Some Altria shareholders have been pushing for JUUL to disclose nicotine levels, though a recent proposal was handily voted down. Also, the company has been having difficulties finding scientists willing to research the product on their behalf, which would make issuing any such reports that much more difficult. -Michael Tedder Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters