Juul suspending all US ads as CEO steps down

Major changes are underway at e-cigarette company Juul as CEO Kevin Burns has stepped down and is replaced by K.C. Crosthwaite.

The Associated Press reported Crosthwaite was previously an executive at Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes which owns a 35% stake in Juul.

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"I have long believed in a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose alternative products like Juul," Crosthwaite said in a statement Wednesday. "That has been this company's mission since it was founded, and it has taken great strides in that direction. Unfortunately, today that future is at risk due to unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry. Against that backdrop, we must strive to work with regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders, and earn the trust of the societies in which we operate."

But the biggest news from the company is that it is ending all broadcast, print and digital advertising in the United States, as well as lobbying efforts. The New York Times reported that the company's "Make the Switch" campaign has been criticized by the Food and Drug Administration for making e-cigarettes look like a healthier alternative to traditional cigarette smoking.

In addition, Altria and Philip Morris International have announced they are ending merger talks.

Flavored e-cigarettes have been an increasing concern across the country as vaping deaths are on the rise. On September 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 530 cases of lung injury and seven deaths have been reported in relation to vaping.

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