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Juul CEO steps down as vaping company ceases all US advertising

Kevin Burns is leaving his role as health concerns over vaping grow.


You won't be seeing Juul advertising in the immediate future, as the e-cig company suspended all US advertising.

Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images

Juul CEO Kevin Burns stepped down Wednesday, and the vaping company said it had suspended all advertising in the US "effective immediately." This comes as e-cigarettes companies like Juul come under increasing regulatory scrutiny after recent links to lung-related illnesses and deaths.

In addition to suspending all broadcast, print and digital advertising in the US, the company promised to "refraining from lobbying" the Trump administration on the government's proposal to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

Burns will be replaced as CEO by K.C. Crosthwaite, an executive for tobacco company Altria, which has $13 billion stake in Juul. He'll lead a "broad review of the company's practices and policies," Juul said in statement.

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"K.C. has long understood the potential of alternatives to combustible cigarettes and the need to combat youth usage and we look forward to having him lead our team during this crucial phase," James Monsees and Adam Bowen, who co-founded Juul with Burns, said of the company's new CEO.

On Tuesday, California Department of Public Health warned that vaping seemed to be causing "sudden lung damage." It reported that 90 people with a history of vaping had been hospitalized and that two died since June in California.

First published at 6:03 a.m. PT.
Updated at 6:35 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.