Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns has issued an apology to the parents of kids using his company’s product. Less than a year ago, the FDA labeled teen Juul use an “epidemic,” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over two-million high school and middle school students vaped in 2017. In CNBC’s Vaporized: America’s E-cigarette Addiction, Burns says “It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to [children]. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”
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Adam Bowen, the cofounder of Juul, has also admitted to CNBC that early marketing for their product was “inappropriate,” saying “When we launched Juul, we had a campaign that was arguably too … lifestyle-oriented, too flashy.” He softened the blow by finishing “It was in the early days of the product introduction. We think it had no impact on sales.”
In 2016, the Surgeon General concluded that nicotine consumption in any form, including e-cigarettes, causes addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain. In response to the alarming statistics, San Francisco, ironically where Juul Labs is headquartered, recently banned the sale of electronic cigarettes. The FDA has also promised to continue improving restrictions on Juul. This news arrives following a revelation that Netflix will be taking measures to diminish the portrayals of smoking in their content.