BY: Sallie Dean
CHATTANOOGA – Among the latest e-cigarette craze, JUULs are the trendiest in the market and, perhaps, the most dangerous. The smoking giant is facing criticism for illegally pitching that their product is safer than smoking cigarettes.
Monday, the Federal Food and Drug Administration administered a warning letter to JUUL Labs INC., in efforts to gain the attention of the company to stop providing unproven and false claims to its consumers.
This letter highlighted several claims by JUUL representatives, including one that stated JUULs were “safer than cigarettes.” According to the American Heart Association, there are no electronic cigarettes that have been reviewed as less harmful for consumers than cigarettes.
“JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation’s youth,” stated Ned Sharpless, an FDA acting commissioner.
Two New York high school students provided information at a congressional hearing last July, including statements where a JUUL representative told the students that the product was “totally safe.”
JUUL reportedly discontinued school programs last year, due to repeated scrutiny. The company also removed fruit and dessert flavors from stores, to deter attraction from underage consumers.
Though FDA warning letters are not legally binding, companies may be taken to court if they fail to comply with the government’s requests.
In a letter to the CEO of JUUL Labs INC., FDA regulators said that the company’s motives highlighted in the congressional hearing were “troubling,” further citing a testimony that claimed JUUL’s advertising “saturated social media channels frequented by underage teens.”
As of last year, JUUL deactivated all of its social media sites.