September 23, 2019 / 8:18 PM / 5 months ago

California federal prosecutors conducting criminal probe into Juul - WSJ

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors in California are conducting a criminal probe into e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc, Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The focus of the probe by the U.S. attorney's office of the Northern District of California, which is in early stages, was unclear, the report said here

Juul and the U.S. attorney's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company, in which tobacco giant Altria group owns a 35% stake, is facing a regulatory crackdown and increased government scrutiny in the domestic market.

California's governor earlier this month ordered a public awareness campaign on health risks posed by a "youth epidemic" of vaping, a day after New York's governor announced a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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