Kevin Burns, the chief executive of e-cigarette company Juul Labs, has stepped down as concerns over the safety of vaping continue to mount. The company will also suspend all advertising in the United States, and has said that it will not lobby against the Trump administration's decision to ban all flavored e-cigarettes.
"I still believe the company’s mission of eliminating combustible cigarettes is vitally important,” Burns said in a statement. He has been replaced by K.C. Crosthwaite, an executive at Altria Group, the cigarette company that owns a 35 percent stake in Juul.
The changes at Juul come a day after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and banned the sale of all vaping products in the state for four months. There have been nine deaths linked to vaping and 530 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-related illness in the United States so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though they expect to announce more when new figures are released this week.