Juul Labs defends Juul, says safety is top priorityJuul Labs on Wednesday argued that its liquid-type e-cigarette does not contain harmful substances, rebutting a comment from the Ministry of Health and Welfare last week.
The company released the official statement after the Health Ministry on Friday recommended smokers refrain from using the devices over health concerns until it wraps up an investigation into the correlation between e-cigarettes and lung disease.
Korea’s Health Ministry raised the issue after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that more than 500 cases of pulmonary illness have been reported across 38 states, mostly linked to vaping products that contain THC.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis.
“The ingredients of our products do not include THC, any compounds derived from cannabis or vitamin E compounds like those found in some cannabis-related products,” said Juul Labs in a statement. “Juul Labs considers user safety as the top priority in product development and closely monitors all issues related to the product.”
The company explained that its mission to “improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by providing them with a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes” also strictly applies in Korea, where there are some 9 million adult smokers.
Vaping of products containing THC has become a controversial issue worldwide with the CDC having said that it has received confirmed reports of seven deaths from vaping-related illness in six states. The organization hasn’t found a link between the deaths and any specific product. One theory is that vitamin E compounds included in black market THC liquid capsules are to blame, but there is no conclusive evidence yet.
Concerns about Juul Labs products are especially high as its e-cigarettes are particularly popular with teenagers.
Juul Labs entered the Korean market with much fanfare in May and has come under fire not just over health concerns, but also because its products are sold with a lower tax rate than other types of cigarettes.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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