Kelly Fisher, USA TODAY NETWORK Tennessee

Juul Under Investigation For Marketing Claims About Smoking

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
July 31, 2019 - 12:31 pm

By Jim Taylor

San Francisco-based Juul Labs is under investigation in Connecticut over claims that vaping helps smokers quit.

The company's commercials feature smokers who say they gave up traditional cigarettes thanks to the USB-shaped vaping devices. But there may not be a lot of truth in that advertising, according to Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.

“They’re making the claim that they’re helping people quit smoking, and so we’re testing that claim,” Tong said. “If that’s your main explanation or excuse, we’d like to know whether it’s true or not.”

Tong said that because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Juul as a smoking cessation device, marketing it as such is unlawful.

Juul’s advertising claims come as there’s mounting evidence to suggest that it doesn’t help smokers quit. Experts even say it's reversed years of progress of preventing kids and teens from developing nicotine addictions. 

Connecticut is demanding Juul answer questions and turn over documents by Sept. 3. 

In May, North Carolina’s attorney general announced a lawsuit against Juul over similar marketing claims. Last July, Massachusetts began its investigation, which included two cease-and-desist notices to some online retailers for allegedly poor age verification. 

The Connecticut announcement comes a week after Juul co-founders testified before a congressional subcommittee in Washington, D.C.

The company’s response comes in the form of a statement, saying Juul will cooperate with the investigation.