The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered JUUL and five other vaping companies to turn over information for the past three years regarding their sales, advertising and marketing practices so that the federal watchdog can “better understand the rapidly growing e-cigarette market.”
The FTC ordered the documents from JUUL Labs; R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company; Fontem US Inc.; Logic Technology Development LLC; Nu Mark LLC; and NJOY LLC.
“Among other things, the Commission orders seek: annual data on the sales and give-aways of e-cigarette products; information about the characteristics of the companies’ e-cigarette products, such as product flavors; annual amounts the companies spent on advertising and promoting e-cigarette products; and information about e-cigarette product placement, the websites and social media accounts used to advertise or sell e-cigarettes, affiliate programs, influencer marketing, and college campus programs,” the FTC’s news release stated.
The order comes as JUUL and other vape companies are under increased scrutiny over their promotional campaigns and flavored e-liquids that allegedly target youth.
And, it comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues new warnings to consumers to avoid vaping products due to a vape-related lung injury that has caused more than 1,000 illnesses and 18 deaths across 48 states and 1 U.S. territory. Approximately 80% of those who have fallen ill are younger than 35. Sixteen percent are younger than 18 years of age.
The CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local health departments, and other clinical and public health entities are investigating the outbreak. And while no single product or substance has been linked to all lung injury cases, most patients reported a history of using THC-containing products. THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.
“While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that you consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC,” the CDC said.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives.