According to two teenagers who testified to Congress under oath, a Juul representative went into a 9th grade classroom and descried their e-cigarette product as “totally safe” before showing the device to the classroom.
The congressional hearings have been organised to “examine (Juul’s) responsibility for the youth nicotine addiction epidemic.” It is expected that company executives, include the co-founder, will testify at the next hearing.
The teens said that the Juul representative addresses his class in a “mental health (and) addiction seminar” in which school teachers were not present to supervise. The representative disclaimed his connection to the Juul brand and his description of his company’s e-cigarette as “totally safe”.
In a press statement, Juul has said the presentation was included as part of what it called a “short-lived Education and Youth Prevention Program which was ended in September 2018 after its purpose — to educate youth on the dangers of nicotine addiction — was clearly misconstrued.”
However, experts have said that Juul has contributed to an epidemic of nicotine addicted teens using vape devices believing them to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. It is even said Juul triggered an “arms race” for how much nicotine could be packed into an e-cigarette cartridge.
Its also alleged that one of the teens said that they had a friend addicted to nicotine and that the representative told them to recommend Juul to their friend as a healthier alternative. This combined with the allegation that the e-cig was described as ‘totally safe’ potentially paints disturbing picture of Juul and its approach to responsible marketing to youths.
One of the teen’s parents said that:”Juul sent a representative to talk to our kids about its product under the guise of education.”