HealthDay News — Amid a national outbreak of vaping-linked illnesses and deaths, vape device maker Juul Labs said Wednesday it is stopping all print, digital, and television advertising, and its CEO, Kevin Burns, is stepping down.
Juul, by far the largest vaping products maker in the United States, also said it will not fight a proposed nationwide ban on flavored electronic cigarettes, put forward earlier this month by the Trump administration, the Associated Press reported.
K.C. Crosthwaite, an executive from Altria, will replace Burns. Tobacco giant Altria owns a 35 percent share of San Francisco-based Juul. In a statement, Crosthwaite alluded to “unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry,” the AP wrote. “We must strive to work with regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders, and earn the trust of the societies in which we operate,” Crosthwaite added. “That includes inviting an open dialogue, listening to others, and being responsive to their concerns.”
The news from Juul comes a day after testimony on Capitol Hill regarding the expanding number of cases of a sometimes-fatal vaping-linked respiratory illness. In her testimony before a congressional subcommittee, Anne Schuchat, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said she believes hundreds of new cases of lung illnesses have been reported since the CDC set the number at 530 last Thursday, the AP reported. Schuchat told lawmakers that “we are seeing more and more cases each day, and I expect the next weekly numbers will be much higher.”