'I'm sorry': Juul CEO issues public apology to parents of teens addicted to the company's vaping products

FILE - In this April 16, 2019, file photo, a woman exhales a puff of vapor from a Juul pen in Vancouver, Wash. Under intense scrutiny amid a wave of underage vaping, Juul is pushing into television with a multimillion-dollar campaign rebranding itself as a stop-smoking aid for adults trying to kick cigarettes. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)FILE - In this April 16, 2019, file photo, a woman exhales a puff of vapor from a Juul pen in Vancouver, Wash. Under intense scrutiny amid a wave of underage vaping, Juul is pushing into television with a multimillion-dollar campaign rebranding itself as a stop-smoking aid for adults trying to kick cigarettes. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)Associated Press

Juul Labs CEO Ken Burns has a message for parents of teens who are addicted to the company's vaping products: "I'm sorry."

Burns delivered that message in a new documentary, after CNBC's Carl Quintanilla asked Burns what he would say to a parent of a child addicted to e-cigarettes.

"First of all, I'd tell them that I'm sorry that their child's using the product," Burns said. "It's not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I'm sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they're going through."

The Food and Drug Administration has called teen vaping an "epidemic." Juul has been accused of marketing its dessert-flavored e-cigarettes on platforms popular among young people, including YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read more: 'I go crazy if I don't have it': American teens are going wild over an addictive e-cigarette developed by Stanford graduates

Increased scrutiny around teen vaping has led some retailers, such as Rite Aid and Walmart, to pull the products from stores. Rite Aid stopped selling e-cigarettes altogether, while Walmart has stopped selling dessert-flavored vaping products.

Juul is partially owned by Altria, the tobacco giant behind Marlboro.

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