Juul Labs has always said that their products are safer than traditional cigarettes. They have claimed the e-cigarettes have helped millions of people transition away from smoking. However, what if Juul sold contaminated vape pods?
There are reports that a former Juul executive claims the company knowingly sold a million contaminated pods and then did nothing to warn consumers of the danger.
Digging into these allegations
Siddharth Breja used the be the vice president of global finance for Juul. Now, he has filed a lawsuit against the company saying he was “inappropriately terminated” last March just days after he raised concerns about the contaminated pods.
“Mr. Breja became aware of very concerning actions within the company that could be jeopardizing the health of millions of Juul users. He performed his duty to shareholders, the board, and the public by reporting these issues internally, expecting that Juul’s senior management would do the right thing,” his attorney said.
Juul says that Breja was fired for failing to demonstrate leadership qualities needed for his role with the company, but he timing is questionable.
Juul asked the supplier for their money back
Breja says that he learned about the contaminated pods when he was asked to recover $7 million from the supplier who produced them. While simultaneously asking for money back for a bad product, Juul also decided not to tell consumers.
Breja says he also asked the company to include “best by” dates on their products. He says Juul sold older inventory that was returned by distributors, though Vape pods lose their flavor after about a year according to their advertising. Breja says that then-CEO Kevin Burns dismissed the idea and said “Half our customers are drunk and vaping…” and “Who…is going to notice the quality of our pods?”
Juul is under fire
This is just another sting into the side of Juul, the undisputed leader of the e-cigarette business. The company is already facing many lawsuits alleging that they helped create the youth vaping epidemic. Even the federal government, which has been slow to regulate the e-cigarette industry, has put pressure on Juul.
The acting director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that “JUUL has ignored the law, and very concerningly, has made some of these statements in school to our nation’s youth.”
In the United States, the nation is grappling with a string of lung illnesses that have been tied to vaping devices, sickening more than 2,000 people and killing more than 40 as of this writing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What else is Juul hiding?
Had it not been for a fired executive, we would not have learned that they possibly sold contaminated vape pods to consumers. The company has a new CEO, but it is unlikely that the scrutiny of the e-cigarette industry will die down any time soon.
While many of the illnesses and deaths related to vaping have been linked to THC or cannabis vaping products, that does not absolve Juul or other e-cigarette companies. The CDC was quick to point out that most of those who used the THC-related products also used other e-cigarette nicotine products, making it impossible to rule out the dangers of traditions e-cigarettes.