San Joaquin County Dist. Atty. Tori Verber Salazar said Thursday that she is opening an investigation into e-cigarette company Juul Labs to look into what she said was “knowingly false and misleading” advertising that hooked young people on nicotine. The investigation could lead to a suit from the county, which is east of San Francisco.
A recent outbreak of a mysterious lung disease linked to vaping has served as a catalyst across the nation for increased regulation of and investigation into the e-cigarette industry, which public health officials say is threatening hard-fought gains in reducing smoking rates.
From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette usage among high schoolers jumped 78%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Companies like Juul offer nicotine pods that have fruit flavors like mango or strawberry and entice young people to try nicotine, experts say.
This month, Michigan became the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes. The Trump administration said this month that it is also considering outlawing the products. Los Angeles County recently approved a ban on flavored tobacco products.
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