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Electronic cigarette Vaping giant JUUL to set up in Switzerland

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The number of adults who vape will reach almost 55 million by 2021, according to market research group Euromonitor.

(Keystone)

The American company JUUL, which specializes in the manufacture of electronic cigarettes that look like thumb drives, is preparing to set up in the Swiss city of Zug, according to the Zefix trade register.

This information was disclosed in the Thursday edition of the Handelszeitung newspaper.

Juul Labs Switzerland is listed on the commercial registerexternal link as a producer, distributor or exporter for the retail and wholesale trade of electronic cigarettes and accessories.

The Swiss subsidiary of the Californian group is managed by Jacob Bollag, according to an entry dated 24 September.

The German-language newspaper states that JUUL had filed an entry in the trademark register with the federal authorities in April.

The San Francisco-based company, headed by Kevin Burns and founded in 2015, recently raised $1.2 billion in funds, valuing Juul at $15 billion, according to Bloomberg. Juul has captured 68% of the American electronic cigarette market.

At the moment E-cigarettes containing nicotine are considered a commodity under Swiss law and are not included within restrictions on conventional cigarettes. However, pending new laws would include E-cigarettes under a list of tobacco products that should not be sold or marketed to under-18s.

Many manufacturers and retailers of E-cigarettes in Switzerland have signed up to a voluntary ban on the sale to minors until the Swiss law change comes into effect.

Across the Atlantic, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on e-cigarettes.

On Tuesday, the FDA announced it had seized more than a thousand pages of documents from Juul Labs related to the company’s sales and marketing practices after a surprise inspection.

 In September, the regulator said it was mulling a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from JUUL and others to battle the "epidemic"of youth e-cigarette consumption.

The company's retail sales grew more than seven-fold from 2016 to 2017, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cited by Reuters.external link

The CDC study found that JUUL comprised nearly 1 in 3 e-cigarette sales in the United States.

Keystone-SDA/Reuters/ds

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