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Juul CEO steps down amid sudden spike in vaping-related illnesses

Kevin Burns exits as hundreds of illnesses have been reported in the US and nine deaths have been linked to the lung ailments

Juul Labs chief executive Kevin Burns stepped down from the tobacco vaping company on Wednesday amid growing concern about teenage vaping, the safety of its products and legal challenges.

Burns will be replaced by KC Crosthwaite, chief strategy officer at Altria, the tobacco giant that is Juul’s largest shareholder. Altria also announced it was ending merger talks with Philip Morris International, a deal that would have reunited the Marlboro maker with the parent company that sold it off a decade ago.

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