US lawmakers demand to see Juul’s e-cigarette health effects research

US lawmakers demand to see e-cigarette health effects research from Juul and 3 other companies – as lung damage cases linked to vaping surge to 153, CDC reports

  • In recent weeks, at least e-cigarette users in the US have been hospitalized for severe lung injury doctors suspect is related to vaping 
  • The US House Energy and Commerce Committee said Wednesday it sent letters requesting documents from four major e-cig companies 
  • Its letters request information on the health effects research each did 
  • All four have also been asked for marketing practices documents
  • The CDC is conducting its own investigations into the lung damage cases  

Four dominant e-cigarette manufacturers face a probe into the health impacts of their products, as the US House Energy and Commerce Committee asked on Wednesday about the firms’ research and marketing practices.

The committee sent letters to Juul Labs, 35 percent owned by Marlboro maker Altria Group, Fontem Ventures, Japan Tobacco, and Reynolds American, a unit of British American Tobacco.

The letter to Juul asked if the company has conducted or financed studies on the health implications of using its products and the effectiveness of Juul in helping users quit smoking. 

As of Wednesday, 153 people have come down with severe, mysterious lung illnesses suspected to be linked to vaping, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. 

Juul gets hit again – this time with House oversight committee letters asking it to hand over any health research it conducted that might have signaled the current slew of lung damage cases

In light of both the recent slew of lung damage cases in 16 states, the committee and the Monday’s regulatory review application deadline, the committee asked if Juul has sent information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The probe comes amid growing scrutiny of the e-cigarette industry by lawmakers. 

A separate House panel in July released internal Juul emails that committee staff described as attempts to ‘enter schools and convey its messaging directly to teenage children.’

James Monsees, Juul’s co-founder and chief product officer, told the panel the company’s target audience is adult cigarette smokers.

Representative Frank Pallone, the Democratic chair of the committee, cited vaping-related lung illnesses recently reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. 

He requested responses by September 20.   

‘I am concerned that [electronic nicotine delivery system] like Juul, ae continuing to be disseminated, marketed and used while consumer lack adequate information to evaluate the health implications of using these products,’ wrote Chairman Pallone in his letter to Juul CEO, Kevin Burns. 

‘In fact, [CDC] and state health officials are currently investigating…possible cases of ‘pulmonary illnesses linked to e-cigarette use’ among young people reported in recent weeks.’ 

The CDC is coordinating with health officials and doctors in the 16 states where the mysterious cases of likely-vaping-related lung damage have been reported to investigate what, if any, role e-cigarettes may have played.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Bryan Pietsch; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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