California sues Juul, largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes
Robie de Guzman • November 20, 2019 • 345
San Francisco – The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs Inc., the largest US manufacturer of e-cigarettes, alleging that the firm targeted young people and teenagers with its advertising despite the fact that sales of its products are prohibited to people under age 21.
“We’ve worked too hard, committed our hard-earned money for too long combating harmful tobacco use to stand idly by as we now lose Californians to vaping and nicotine addiction,” state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said at a news conference in Los Angeles.
“Juul adopted the tobacco industry’s infamous playbook, employing advertisements that had no regard for public health and searching out vulnerable targets,” he added.
The complaint was presented jointly by the California state government, the city and county of Los Angeles, and in it the plaintiffs claim that, besides targeting young people with its advertising, the firm did not warn the public about the fact that its products expose users to potentially dangerous chemicals and to the risk of cancer, birth defects and reproductive damage.
In addition, according to the plaintiffs, Juul did not verify the age of consumers of its products and violated privacy laws of minors by saving their e-mail addresses and using them to send those people more ads.
Specifically, the lawsuit says that the e-cigarette manufacturer publicized its mango, mint, cream and pepper flavors, which are especially popular among teens.
E-cigarettes are facing increasing restrictions in the US, with prohibitions on the local and state level and the threat by President Donald Trump to prohibit marketing the products on the national level.
Last week, the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report in which it raised to 42 the death toll for people who have died from lung damage caused by consumption of electronic cigarettes, along with more than 2,000 cases of non-lethal lung damage.
Vaping among teens has been steadily increasing despite efforts by health officials to limit it, with more than 25 percent of US high school students using e-cigarettes, according to recent figures from the CDC. EFE-EPA
Washington – The United States Food and Drug Administration on Thursday banned the sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes, including fruit and mint, in an attempt to reduce their use among children and youth.
The decision, in which companies have 30 days to cease manufacture, distribution and sales, aims to reduce the “troubling epidemic” among youth, although for some sectors it is seen as a step back from the original plan of the President Donald Trump administration to ban all flavors.
“The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in the FDA statement.
On September 11 last year, Azar announced that the Trump administration planned to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes except tobacco after the first deaths linked to their use were made public.
At that time, Trump, in statements from the Oval Office with Azar and other officials, said that vaping is a problem that especially affects “innocent children.”
In October, Juul, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the US, announced it was suspending sales of most of its flavors in the country ahead of the ban, although it anticipated that it would continue to manufacture tobacco and menthol flavors.
The same month, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration was considering allowing the sale of some flavors so as not to put at risk the re-election of Trump, whose campaign team has warned of the electoral impact that the plan to ban all flavored e-cigarettes would have amid possible job losses and voter backlash.
The report said Trump’s campaign chief Brad Parscale warned that the plan to reduce vaping among young people could hurt Trump in the 2020 election.
Groups working in the industry also created a pushback campaign called #IvapeIVote and #WeVapeWeVote.
In its statement, the FDA cited federal survey data to show that young people are particularly attracted to flavors such as fruit and mint, more so than to tobacco or menthol.
According to local media, 55 people have died across 27 states due to a lung illness linked to vaping. EFE-EPA
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing for a ban on the use of e-cigarettes known as vapes in all public places across the country.
Filed by Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Bill 5510 prohibits the use of vapes in public areas such as schools and universities, public elevators and staircases, gas stations, oil, and chemical storages and laboratories.
It also pushes to ban vaping in hospital premises and health clinics, train and bus terminals, airports and seaports, restaurants and conference halls.
The proposed measure is also pushing on limiting the sales of vapor products even in online sales platforms.
Violators would have to pay from P1,000 to P500,000 pesos in penalty plus jail term once the bill is enacted into law.
Herrera-Dy filed the proposed measure following confirmation of the first patient acquiring vape-related ailment in the country. MNP (details from Vincent Arboleda)
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