Federal prosecutors in California are conducting a criminal probe into Juul Labs Inc., adding to several ongoing investigations of the e-cigarette maker, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although the focus of the California probe was not revealed, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and several state attorneys general are also investigating the company. The FTC probe is focused on Juul’s use of social media influencers to reach a teenage audience. The FDA probe is broader and also investigates the high nicotine content in Juul’s refill pods.
A lawsuit filed by North Carolina officials in May accuses the company of both targeting teenagers and misleading users about the addictiveness of the product. A Massachusetts probe is also investigating the company’s marketing tactics and an anti-vaping program presented in elementary and high schools.
A recent federal survey showed that 28 percent of high school students this year said they had used an e-cigarette in the last month.
? FDA officials are also investigating a growing number of illnesses and deaths suspected to be connected to use of e-cigarettes. Juul’s products have not been directly linked.