Juul CEO tells CBS News: "I don't want my kids using the product"
A mother from Missouri has filed a new lawsuit against Juul, accusing the number one e-cigarette company of marketing to teenagers and getting her 14-year-old daughter hooked on nicotine. Juul is fighting a similar lawsuit brought by the state of North Carolina.
In an exclusive interview with "CBS This Morning's" Tony Dokoupil, Juul CEO Kevin Burns said the company never intended for Juul to be used by kids.
"As a parent of a 16-year-old, 19-year-old, I don't want my kids using the product. It's not intended for them. They're not smokers or former smokers trying to use the product. We never want them to use the product. And I have empathy for them, for what they're going through, dealing with their kids trying to go through any kind of difficulties, especially an addiction to a product that has nicotine in it," Burns said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it's looking into nearly 200 possible cases of severe lung disease that may be tied to the use of e-cigarettes. The cases are reported in at least 22 states.
"When people say the long-term effects of vaping are not known, that's true?" Dokoupil asked.
"That's true. That's a true statement," Burns said.
"Then how do you sit here and sell it every day? Aren't you selling first and asking questions later?" Dokoupil asked.
"We have a product that is legal today, is tested for toxicity, and does not present, you know, a risk based on the guidelines of the category today to the American public," Burns said. "I can't imagine we had the data to support that we're selling a product that is damaging to the American public and we had that data, that we'd continue to sell that product."
Watch more of Dokoupil's interview with Burns, Thursday, August 29, on "CBS This Morning," 7 a.m. ET.
for more features.