In e-cigarette documentary, premiering on CNBC tonight, Juul CEO apologizes to parents of teenagers who vape

Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns, left, and NBC reporter Carl Quintanilla tour a Wisconsin Juul facility. (CNBC photo)

A new CNBC documentary exploring the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes, especially among teens, features a surprising message from one industry CEO: an apology.
Kevin Burns is CEO of Juul Labs, which has about 40 percent of the e-cigarette market. It sells liquid nicotine pods in sweet flavors that are a prime driver in getting teenagers to try vaping. Reporter Carl Quintanilla asked Burns what he would say to a parent whose child was addicted to Juul.

Burns, who joined Juul in late 2017, replied: “First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product . . . It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”

Angelica LaVito reports for CNBC, “The Food and Drug Administration has declared teen vaping an ‘epidemic,’ citing federal survey data that showed nearly 21 percent of high school students vaped last year. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and health care advocates blame the surge in teen vaping on Juul.”

“Vaporized: America’s E-cigarette Addiction” will first air tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
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