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Juul maker to invest $30M to combat underage vaping

FILE -- A sharp spike in vaping and the use of e-cigarettes by students has grabbed the attention of the US Food and Drug Administration.

WASHINGTON – The maker of a much-debated e-cigarette that has grown popular with teenagers says it will spend $30 million in an effort to keep its products out of the hands of underage users.

The announcement from Juul (JOO-‘uhl) Labs comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration questioned the design and marketing of the company’s small, sleek vaping devices.

The San Francisco company said the initial investment will fund research on vaping and the formation of an expert panel to combat underage use of Juul. That group will be led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

The company says it will also support state and federal legislation to raise the minimum age for vaping products to 21. Federal law sets the age at 18, though some states have higher requirements.