USA- Latimes.com writes that an executive from Juul is alleging that the company was aware that one million of its nicotine pods were tainted when it shipped them out to consumers. Juul fired the former executive earlier this year, and he has now filed a lawsuit against the company. The allegation regarding the tainted product is part of the recently filed lawsuit.
The executive stated that he voiced opposition to the company’s practices, including the decision to ship knowingly contaminated product, and refusing to use expiration dates and that the company fired him in response. The lawsuit lacks details regarding what the contaminant was or how the product became tainted.
Juul released a statement calling the allegations “baseless” and stating that the termination was based on the executive’s lack of “leadership qualities.”
The e-cigarette company, Juul, has been the dominant player in the market for several years. As the company has grown, it has faced a siege of criticism for its practices and its product, including allegations that the company is creating a nicotine addiction epidemic among teens and young adults. There are currently federal and state investigations into the company, as well as many civil lawsuits.
According to the former executive, the contaminated pods were mint flavored. The company pushed production of its mint pods after it stopped sales of candy and fruit-flavored pods to third-party retail outlets. The fruit and candy flavors were banned in some locations for their appeal to young people. Based on the allegations, the move to increase production came with a failure to practice “quality control measures.”
Health concerns over the product continue to mount, and the Trump administration finally stated last month that it would ban all flavors except for tobacco. Health advocates are concerned that the administration will concede and allow mint and menthol flavors, which are popular with young users of the product.
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