Congressional Democrats threaten to subpoena Juul in teen vaping investigation

Congressional Democrats threaten to subpoena Juul in teen vaping investigation
© Greg Nash

House Democrats are threatening to subpoena Juul for not complying with its investigation into the youth vaping epidemic. 

Juul, the top e-cigarette company in the U.S., has not produced documents that the House asked for more than three months ago, said Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiSondland could provide more clues on Ukraine controversy Trump's cruelty toward immigrants weakens rather than strengthens America Overnight Health Care — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Federal judge blocks Trump from detaining migrant children indefinitely | Health officials tie vaping-related illnesses to 'Dank Vapes' brand | Trump to deliver health care speech in Florida MORE (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. 

Krishnamoorthi has argued Juul intentionally targeted children with its marketing practices.

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"If Juul continues to fail to comply with the request for documents" the committee "may have no choice but to seek compulsory process," Krishnamoorthi wrote in a letter to Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns, dated Tuesday. 

The committee is seeking a list of schools that received funding from Juul to implement programming to prevent teen vaping.

Two teenagers testified before Krishnamoorthi's committee in July that a Juul representative told students its products were "totally safe."

Juul has argued that the programs, which it's no longer funding, were intended to keep kids from using their products.

The committee is also seeking the contract between Juul and tobacco giant Altria. Altria bought 35 percent of Juul's stake last year. 

But Krishnamoorthi said Juul has only produced two sets of "prepackaged" documents since June containing publicly available information and information that had already been given to state attorneys general. 

Juul has missed several deadlines in providing the documents, he said. 

Krishnamoorthi said that violates the promise Juul co-founder James Monsees made in July to cooperate with the committee's investigation.

If Juul doesn't comply with the request by Oct 1., the committee will consider a subpoena, Krishnamoorthi said. 

A spokesperson for Juul has not responded to The Hill for comment.

Youth vaping rates have spiked in recent years, according to government data. 

About 27 percent of high school students recently used e-cigarettes in 2019, according to preliminary data released last week by the Food and Drug Administration, compared to 21 percent in 2018. 

As a result, the Trump administration announced last week it would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products that it argues are appealing to kids and getting them hooked on nicotine.