E-cigarette maker Juul is reportedly under federal investigation to determine whether the company used deceptive marketing and targeted minors. According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the alleged marketing tactics the feds are looking at involves the use of paid influencers to target minors. The news coming as we hear more and more stories about e-cigarettes negatively impacting the health of young people.
Alexander Mitchell, 20, was hospitalized earlier this summer with acute respiratory distress syndrome. He was kept alive by two advanced life support machines.
"I don't have the stamina that I used to. I don't have the strength that I used to," he said.
Tryston Zohfeld, 17, started vaping in the 8th grade. Last month, he was put into a medically induced coma because of a blockage in his lungs.
"I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out of my chest going 100 miles an hour," he said.
Now the Federal Trade Commission is reportedly investigating whether Juul targeted young people with its marketing while Juul said, "We have never marketed to youth. To avoid any misconceptions, we changed our approach to advertising in a way that offers no room for misinterpretation about the mission of our company or our intended customers. We have no higher priority than to prevent youth usage of our products."
Juul claims it spent less than $10,000 on influencers and it was a small, short-lived pilot. An FTC spokesperson told us per FTC policy, he cannot confirm or deny whether the agency is, in fact, investigating.