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FILE - A Juul e-cigarette starter pack is seen July 16, 2018. VOA

Federal officials have opened a “deceptive marketing” probe into electronic cigarette maker Juul because of allegations that the company has targeted teens, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Congress and several state attorneys general have also opened their own investigations into Juul.


Neither the Federal Trade Commission or Juul has confirmed the Journal report. But Juul said it would “fully cooperate and is transparent with any government agency or regulator who have interest in our category.”

The company denies it has tried to sell its product to youths.


Federal officials have opened a “deceptive marketing” probe into electronic cigarette maker Juul because of allegations that the company has targeted teens. Pixabay

“Our earliest marketing campaign in 2015 was intended for adults in the 25-34-year-old demographic … we regret that the campaign was executed in a way that was perceived as appealing to minors,” it said.

Juul said it had abandoned its practice of using so-called social media influencers — paid third parties who use tweets and blogs to write about products and other services.

A stop-smoking aid

Electronic cigarettes, or vaping, are intended to be used by smokers who are trying to give up smoking tobacco. But critics say the products appeal to teens because the devices come in fruit and candy flavors.

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Juul says it has stopped selling the flavors in traditional stores and has installed new age-verification systems to keep e-cigarettes away from children.

Meanwhile, health officials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are “strongly urging” people to stop vaping because the devices are suspected of causing lung disease.

The officials interviewed 27 people who have become sick with chemical pneumonia and said 89% reported using e-cigarettes.


Congress and several state attorneys general have also opened their own investigations into Juul. Pixabay

Their symptoms included shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing and weight loss.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported about 200 cases of lung disease related to vaping in 22 states, including one death in Illinois. (VOA)


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Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO.

Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.

According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)


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Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols.

A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."

Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.

Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)


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The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune.

The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.

Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.

covid virus The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash

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