Briefing

U.S. states launch investigation into Juul’s marketing practices

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Thirty-nine states are investigating whether the e-cigarette company targeted teens in its marketing and made misleading claims about the safety of its products, including the concentrations of nicotine in its devices and their ability to help people quit smoking. (The Associated Press)

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Talking point: The San Francisco-based company has taken a hit to its business, losing about US$26 billion in value in recent months as regulators and public health officials call for e-cigarette restrictions or all-out bans to help curb the uptick in youth nicotine addiction and lung injuries linked to e-cigarettes. It’s responded by suspending sales of most of its flavoured products in Canada and the U.S., scaling back its global expansion plans and pulling out of Indonesia, where vendors continued selling to minors. On Monday, Juul said it will add a feature to its vapes in the U.S. that lock out users under the age of 21, and The Logic reported that the firm has applied for a patent for technology it says would use machine learning to help wean users off nicotine.