Rona Ambrose, a former Canadian health minister, has joined the board of directors of the electronic cigarette company Juul.
Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite announced the appointment of the board in an email to the team on Friday.
Crosthwaite wrote that, during Ambrose's term as Minister of Health, she helped introduce regulations to combat the sale of flavored tobacco products that attract young people, and her government introduced a cigarette tax.
He said Ambrose's position on the board will help the company "work to win the trust of our shareholders".
Ambrose served as interim leader of the Conservative Party and the official opposition from 2015 to 2017, and was a deputy in the Edmonton area from 2004 to 2017 when she retired from politics.
"Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and supporting the potential for harm reduction for adult smokers is an important goal for individuals and health systems," said Ambrose in an e-mailed statement.
"However, these new technologies will not be able to eradicate cigarettes unless companies and regulators work together to successfully tackle the problem of underage use. We need to address both."
The US-based electronic cigarette company has the largest market share in that country. The company earned $ 2 billion in 2018, the same year it entered the Canadian market.
The Health Canada website claims that vaping is less harmful than smoking and that there are general short-term health improvements for those who switch from smoking to vaping.
But he also says there are serious concerns about increasing youth vaping and increasing nicotine addiction due to high concentrations of vaping products, two things for which Juul has faced intense criticism.
Nicotine is highly addictive and Juul capsules provide more nicotine than cigarettes that are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, according to a recent study by Tobacco Regulatory Science.
Company targeted by lawsuits
The company has also been the subject of several lawsuits – including a negligent death lawsuit – alleging that Juul knowingly targeted non-smoking teenagers as customers, something the U.S. company and its Canadian counterpart categorically denied.
"Currently, without scientific evidence demonstrating safety or effectiveness, we continue to urge Canadians against the use of these e-cigarettes," said Ambrose in 2014, when as Minister of Health she first proposed product regulations and requested a study on your risks and risks. benefits.
"We heard that electronic cigarettes can be a gateway for teenagers to start smoking, in addition to having the potential to serve as a tool to stop smoking."
The company said earlier this year that it would stop selling its flavored flavors in Canadian stores after a change made in the U.S. in 2018.
Juul has two retail stores in the home province of Ambrose, Alberta. Customers are subject to age verification before they can enter Juul stores.
Vaping also underwent a thorough examination during the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the Canadian Pediatric Society warned that vaping and smoking weaken the lungs, affect cardiovascular health and put people at greater risk of infection or serious coronavirus complications.