HealthDay News — JUUL developed its electronic cigarette for adult smokers who want to stop and never intended it to be adopted by underage teenagers, company cofounder James Monsees told a U.S. House subcommittee on Thursday, adding that “combating underage use” is the company’s highest priority, the Associated Press reported.
There is an “epidemic” of electronic cigarette use among American teens, even though federal law forbids the sale of the devices to those under 18. JUUL has been under increasing scrutiny for its role in the problem, but this is the first time the company has been called before Congress, the AP reported.
Two hearings were convened this week by House Democrats, who last month launched an investigation into JUUL’s marketing, technology, and business practices. At Thursday’s hearing, Democrats grilled Monsees about early JUUL ads and marketing that they contend led to widespread teen use of electronic cigarettes.
“We must trace the origins that led to this epidemic,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, chair of the economic subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, according to the AP.