House panel chair investigates vape companies’ marketing practices

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:34 AM PT — Thursday, August 22, 2019

Senior House members are launching an investigation into e-cigarette companies, including Juul Labs and Fontem Ventures. Representative Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman for the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to leading e-cigarette manufacturers requesting research information regarding their products’ impact on public health and their roles in promoting vape use by adolescents.

Lawmakers in the state and federal level have cited their concerns over the industry’s marketing practices, which seems to attract a younger demographic.

“Are we just getting kids who would have otherwise smoked to use cigarettes? Here too, we have a growing body of consistent evidence that the kids who are using e-cigarettes are not the kids who would have smoked. It’s a whole different population. It’s one of the reasons we are really concerned. What’s happened is that it’s not that e-cigarettes are replacing cigarettes, e-cigarettes are drawing a whole new body of kids in.”

— Matthew L. Myers, president – Tobacco Free Kids

FILE – In this photo, a high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students at the school in Massachusetts. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, the Vapor Technology Association filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government to delay a review of electronic cigarettes. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Last month, Capitol Hill conducted a two day hearing on tobacco giant Juul, which claims it markets it’s devices as cessation products to help adult smokers quit. However, reports say the product has not been approved by the FDA to make these claims.

During the hearing, Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) asked Juul Chief Administrator Ashley Gould why the company has yet to conduct a a clinical trial to prove this claim. Gould confirmed the company has failed to take the steps to make this type of trial happen.

The investigation comes as the CDC launches it’s own probe on e-cigarettes and it’s potential link to health issues. In the last couple weeks, reports say nearly 100 people, mostly teens and young adults, were sent to the hospital with vaping-related lung illnesses.

In separate statements, the companies in question have voiced their support for preventing youth e-cigarette use.