E-cigarettes and vapes have been touted as a safe alternative to cigarettes. While the safety of these devices remains in question, one fact remains clear: vapes are dangerous and can pose a significant danger to users.

This flies in the face of the marketing that vape and e-cigarette companies engage in. They have spent millions convincing consumers that there is no reason to fear using a vape device. Now, those marketing efforts may prove costly.

Juul Labs Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of vape devices, is now facing significant pressure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these marketing efforts. According to the federal agency, the company engaged in “marketing unauthorized modified risk tobacco products by engaging in labeling, advertising and/or other activities directed to consumers.”

Baseless claims found in Juul’s advertising

Part of Juul’s marketing involved claims that its vaping products carried less risk than cigarettes. Juul made this claim in their marketing without obtaining official approval from the FDA.

Regardless of how much safer vaping may or may not be than tobacco, vape manufacturers must provide clear scientific evidence to support these claims. Juul, according to the FDA, has not only ignored the law, but they’ve also made unfounded claims about their devices’ safety to school children.

Juul actively advertised to high school students

The other, and perhaps more troubling aspect of these claims from the FDA, aspect of the complaint points to the targeting of high school students. In one such instance, two teenagers reported to Congress that the company told a group of 9th graders that their vaping devices are “totally safe.”

Regardless of the age of the user, it is difficult to say that any vaping product is “totally safe.” For minors, the risks can range from developing permanent lung damage to facing the risk of a fire or explosion from a faulty battery.

It seems likely that vapes and e-cigarettes will receive a significant amount of attention over the coming months from regulators. No one may know how safe or dangerous these products may be, one point is clear: they are not risk-free.