Teens testify Juul Labs rep told ninth-grade classroom company’s e-cigarette were safe

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WJBF/Nexstar) — The Surgeon General has declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic.

Lawmakers blame the teenage vaping surge on the e-cigarette company, Juul Labs.

On Thursday, Juul company executives and health experts testified before Congress. Lawmakers say they are trying to understand what makes this specific type of e-cigarette so attractive to teenagers.

Meanwhile, a teenager said that a Juul representative told a class full of ninth-graders its e-cigarettes are “totally safe.” 17-year-old Caleb Mintz testified under oath to a House oversight subcommittee about the comments.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi: Did the presenter ever say that Juul was safe?
Caleb Mintz: Yes.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi: Did the presenter call Juul quote-unquote totally safe more than once?
Caleb Mintz: Yes.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi: What impact did those quote-unquote totally safe comments have on your classmates some of whom may have already started vaping for my classmates who are already vaping?
Caleb Mintz: It was a sigh of relief because now they were able to vape without any concern.

The testimony was a part of two hearings focusing on Juul’s responsibility for the youth nicotine addiction epidemic.

Juul has responded to the comments saying the words were a part of a short-lived education presentation.

The company says the prevention program ended in September 2018 after its purpose was quote “Clearly misconstrued.”

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