AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The State of Texas is leading a 39-state investigation into one of the top makers of e-cigarettes and vape products in the nation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the investigation into JUUL Labs in response to evidence that the company “misrepresented the health risks associated with its products and promoted them to children who are not of legal age to purchase tobacco products.”
“I am pleased to be working alongside other states to determine whether any of JUUL’s statements or business practices mislead or otherwise harmed consumers,” Paxton said in a statement Tuesday. “Protecting Texans from deceptive business practices is a high priority for my office, and I am committed to holding companies accountable for the quality, effects, and marketing of their products.”
The inquiry will cover claims about nicotine content, statements regarding the risks and safety of the products, and whether the company targeted underage users.
In a statement, a company spokesperson indicated JUUL Labs would cooperate with the investigation.
“We will continue to reset the vapor category in the U.S. and seek to earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes,” spokesperson Austin Finan said.
“As part of that process in the U.S., we are preparing comprehensive and scientifically rigorous Premarket Tobacco Product Applications, stopped the sale of flavored pods other than Tobacco and Menthol in November, halted our television, print and digital product advertising, implemented a $1-billion restructuring plan, and support the Administration’s final flavor policy,” Finan said via email.
“Our customer base is the world’s one billion adult smokers and we do not intend to attract underage users,” Finan continued.
Paxton’s office shared that two federal agencies, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control reported over five million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes last year.