Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi got right to the point as he opened a House committee's first hearing on the role of Juul in the teen vaping epidemic.

"After years of decline, youth nicotine use has suddenly reversed course," he said. "The lingering question is why."

Why did teen vaping rise nearly 80 percent between 2017 and 2018? At the July 24 hearing, two teens testified that a Juul representative told their ninth-grade classroom its product was "totally safe." (The truth: Nicotine use in adolescents can impair brain development, impact learning, cause mood disorders and increase the likelihood that they’ll start smoking cigarettes.)

Dr. Robert Jackler, of the Stanford School of Medicine, told the committee that Juul co-founder James Monsees plumbed Stanford’s tobacco advertising database, molding his company's marketing strategy on tactics used by tobacco companies. Jackler also described Juul’s marketing focus as patently youth-oriented.

MontPIRG and our national network are calling on the FDA and Congress to act before even more kids fall into the vaping industry's nicotine trap.

Add your name to our petition to the FDA today.

Photo Caption: Teen vaping surged last year, increasing nearly 80 percent from 2017. Photo Credit: Aleksandr Yu via shutterstock