- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2019

Juul CEO Kevin Burns had a blunt warning Thursday for non-smokers, ugring them to not use their product as the e-cigarette maker faces federal investigations and multiple lawsuits.

“Don’t vape. Don’t use Juul,” Mr. Burns said on “CBS This Morning.”

The message comes as the company has come under fire for their products’ popularity among teenagers. Multiple lawsuits have been filed and House Democrats have launched an investigation into the business.

Mr. Burns has said the product was never intended to be used by underaged customers and apologized to parents whose children have gotten addicted.

When asked whether Juul carries fewer risks than regular cigarettes, Mr. Burns said: “I’m not gonna comment about where I am in terms of that.”

“Let’s just say cigarettes are known to be the number-one source of preventable death in the world and are at the far end extreme of that, the continuum of risk,” he said. 

“We think we have a product that is legal today, is tested for toxicity, and does not present, you know, a risk, based on the guidelines of the category today to the American public,” he added.

Maryland health officials reported Wednesday that five residents developed a severe lung illness after using e-cigarettes.

Patients with vaping-related respiratory illnesses experienced shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain before hospitalization. Some reported gastrointestinal illness such as vomiting and diarrhea accompanied with fatigue. In more severe cases, patients needed to be hooked up to mechanical ventilators due to breathing difficulties.

Shen Wu Tan contributed to this report.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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