Juul & # 39; s CEO Kevin Burns has resigned due to concerns about the safety of the e-cigarettes.
He will be replaced by former Altria director K.C. Crosthwaite, Juul announced Wednesday.
Altria invested $ 12.8 billion at the end of last year for a 35 percent stake in Juul and Crosthwaite will continue a broad evaluation of the company's practices and policies to ensure that it is in line with its goal of responsible leadership in the industry, "Juul said in a statement.
Last month Burns admitted that the nearly 200 pulmonary disease-related diseases in the US are worrying & # 39; were in one CBS This morning's interview, but said he doesn't believe Juul & # 39; s products are to blame.
Scroll down for video
Juul & # 39; s CEO Kevin Burns has resigned due to concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes
He defended his product and said that Juul is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is investigating the cause of serious lung diseases.
& # 39; If there was any indication that there was a negative health condition associated with our product, I think we would take action quickly, & # 39; Burns said – but claimed that the & # 39; facts & # 39; not suggest that despite claims from many sheep patients that they used Juul.
The range of diseases reported in 30 states is & # 39; worrying about the category (of e-cigarettes) and worrying for us, if we contribute to it & # 39 ;, Burns told Tony Dokoupil from CBS.
According to Nielson, Juul had captured 70 percent of the US e-cigarette market by October.
Over the past few years, the company has been slammed because it has marketed its products to young people and teenagers, raided its headquarters, triggered warning letters, and forced Juul & # 39; s hand to remove sweetly flavored e-liquids from stores.
Despite Burns' earlier comments to defend his product, he said in a statement on Wednesday: “Working at JUUL Labs has been an honor and I still believe that the company's mission to eliminate flammable cigarettes is vital is.
& # 39; I am very proud of my team's efforts to lead the industry towards the much needed category-wide action to address the minor use of these products, which are intended for adult smokers only.
& # 39; Since I started working at JUUL Labs, I have been working non-stop to turn a small company into a global company, so a few weeks ago I decided that this was the right time to resign. I am grateful that I can confidently hand over the reins to someone with the skills of K.C., who is well suited to the next phase of the company's journey, "he added.
Now, the FDA requires Juul Labs not only to provide information about its marketing practices, but to disclose documents which health tests it has or has not done before selling its e-cigarettes.
Burns is replaced by former Altria director K.C. Crosthwaite, Juul announced Wednesday
Earlier this month, the FDA issued a warning letter to Juul Labs Inc for marketing its e-cigarettes as safer than traditional cigarettes.
Juul, who has said it is reviewing the FDA letter, is also facing about 30 lawsuits alleging that it has illegally marketed products for children and failed to warn consumers of their dangers.
Juul has denied that it has marketed its products to children.
Meanwhile, tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria announced that they would cancel merger talks in the midst of concerns about the safety of intensifying e-cigarettes.
The makers of Marlboro cigarettes said last month that they were in discussion to become one company, more than a decade after splitting into two as lawsuits started.
Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the US, while Philip Morris has completed international sales.
André Morantzopoulos, CEO of Philip Morris International Inc. said on Wednesday that the companies will instead focus on launching IQOS in the US.
IQOS is a heat-not-burned alternative to cigarettes made by Philip Morris.
In the last few months, the number of diseases caused by vape has been constantly increasing in the US.
In an effort to curb those diseases, some states, including New York and Michigan, banned flavored e-cigarettes.
But on Tuesday, Massachusetts took an even bigger step with state governor, Charlie Baker, announcing a temporary four-month ban on the sale of all state e-cigarettes.
It is the most aggressive executive action that a state has taken to date.
Baker's announcement came after Dr. Anne Schuchat, of the CDC, a congressional subcommittee said she believes there are & # 39; hundreds more & # 39; lung diseases have been reported to health authorities since last Thursday, when the CDC confirmed the count at 530 and placed probable cases.
& # 39; We see more and more cases every day and I expect that the following weekly figures will be much higher & # 39 ;, Schuchat said.
Nine deaths have been reported so far.
The CDC is investigating the poorly understood outbreak but has not yet identified a common electronic cigarette or ingredient.
The cases, resembling an inhalation injury, have contributed to a rapid kickback against e-cigarettes, including a proposed federal ban on tastes by the Trump administration, state restrictions and an end to sales at Walmart stores across the country .
The Massachusetts temporary ban is the first of its kind in the nation. Following Michigan and New York, Illinois is now considering banning e-cigarettes with a taste.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news