Juul Labs CEO and company cofounder Kevin Burns is stepping away from his post, the e-cigarette manufacturer announced on its website. Burns will be replaced by K.C. Crosthwaite, but the move comes amid controversy over a rash of vaping-related deaths and illnesses in North America.
In addition to the move at the top of company, Juul also announced it is suspending all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S.
Juul is shutting down broadcast, print and digital advertising and ending lobbying efforts on behalf of the e-cigarette in Washington as safety concerns intensify. https://t.co/lA7N3Ro1lf
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 25, 2019
“Working at JUUL Labs has been an honor and I still believe the company’s mission of eliminating combustible cigarettes is vitally important,” Burns said in a statement. “I am very proud of my team’s efforts to lead the industry toward much needed category-wide action to tackle underage usage of these products, which are intended for adult smokers only. Since joining JUUL Labs, I have worked non-stop, helping turn a small firm into a worldwide business, so a few weeks ago I decided that now was the right time for me to step down. I am grateful to be able to confidently hand the reins to someone with K.C.’s skill set, which is well-suited to the next phase of the company’s journey.”
Last week, the Middlesex-London Health Unit disclosed that an Ontario youth is believed to be the first patient in Canada with a respiratory illness linked to vaping.
The future of vaping, my friends, is clouded.