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N.C. attorney general requests operational documents from e-cig maker Juul

News & Record reports:

North Carolina’s attorney general is following the lead of the Food and Drug Administration commissioner in investigating the marketing and operational practices of Juul Labs Inc., maker of the top-selling electronic cigarettes.

Josh Stein said Monday he wants Juul officials to provide more details on its efforts, in marketing as well as relationships with retailers and re-sellers, to verify age before purchase, and any youth education and awareness programs.

“The use of e-cigarettes among young people is increasing at staggering rates,” Stein said. “I am extremely concerned about the way Juul has marketed its product to young people, who face increased risk for addiction and exposure to health problems.”

Kevin Burns, Juul’s chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday that “our priority is the same as Attorney General Stein’s — to keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people.”

“Underage use of Juul and any other vaping products is completely unacceptable to us and is directly opposed to our mission of eliminating cigarettes by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes.”

John Locke Foundation’s Mitch Kokai weighed in to News & Record:

Mitch Kokai, policy analyst with Libertarian think tank John Locke Foundation, expressed concerns about Stein’s intentions in the scope of “limited constitutional government.”

“Without suggesting that Juul has committed a crime or is under investigation for committing a crime, the attorney general is applying the heavy hand of government to intimidate a company. The attorney general is demanding detailed information about this company’s operations, for no other apparent reason than his assertion that e-cigarette use is bad and that Juul holds a high market share of e-cigarette sales.”

Kokai said if Stein “has the power to demand this information from Juul, why can’t he do the same to Joe’s Pizza Place or Sally’s Hamburger Shack down the road?”

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