WASHINGTON: US regulators are wanting into probably “misleading advertising and marketing” utilized by well-liked e-cigarette model JUUL Labs that focused teenagers, in accordance with a information report Thursday.
The corporate declined to verify any investigation however in an announcement Thursday stated it ended the short-lived social media marketing campaign and introduced new efforts to maintain the vaping product out of the fingers of adolescents.
The Federal Commerce Fee, which handles client product complaints, is investigating the advertising and marketing practices and is deciding whether or not to hunt financial damages, The Wall Avenue Journal reported, citing individuals conversant in the matter.
It was one other blow to the corporate hit by a current approach of experiences of sickness and dying linked to e-cigarette use.
It additionally comes simply as Altria, a significant shareholder in JUUL, considers a merger with tobacco big Philip Morris Worldwide.
A JUUL spokesperson stated the corporate will all the time “totally cooperate” with any authorities company or regulator, however wouldn’t affirm whether or not an investigation is underway.
“We now have by no means marketed to youth,” the spokesperson stated in an e-mail to AFP.
“Our earliest advertising and marketing marketing campaign in 2015 was supposed for adults within the 25-34 year-old demographic and lasted for six months…. Nonetheless, we remorse that the marketing campaign was executed in a approach that was perceived as interesting to minors.”
As well as, using paid social media “influencers” to advertise the product was tried briefly and deserted final yr, and the corporate has “exited social media completely,” the official stated.
JUUL had used varied social media channels to point out younger adults utilizing the product, and likewise offered interesting flavors that was related to an surge in teen vaping.
However the firm shut stopped promoting the flavored variations in brick-and-mortar shops the place teenagers have simpler entry to the product.
In an announcement on Thursday, the corporate introduced new steps “to fight the problem of youth entry, enchantment, and use of vapor merchandise,” whereas urgent for elevating the age restrict on smoking merchandise to 21.
The FTC declined to remark, however generally doesn’t affirm whether or not it’s investigating an organization, and all its investigations are nonpublic.
The US Meals and Drug Administration chief final yr despatched a warning letter to JUUL about gross sales of merchandise to minors and warned of an “epidemic” of vaping amongst youths amid a large nationwide crackdown on e-cigarette manufacturers.