(AP/CBS) — Federal health authorities say vaping giant Juul Labs illegally pitched its electronic cigarettes as a safer alternative to smoking, including in a presentation at schools.

This April 16, 2019 photo shows a Juul vape pen in Vancouver, Wash. The company’s rise coincided with an explosion of underage vaping by teens. As regulators and lawmakers scramble for solutions, few are talking about Juul’s defining feature: a high-nicotine dose delivered via an easy-to-inhale vapor. While the company’s potent formula initially set it apart from competitors, the vaping industry is now following its lead. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

The Food and Drug Administration issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are “much safer than cigarettes.”

The FDA has been investigating Juul for months but had not previously warned the company.

The FDA letter highlights an incident recounted by two New York high school students during a congressional hearing in July.

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The students said a representative of Juul was invited to address the school on addiction issues. During the presentation, the representative told students the company’s product was “totally safe.”

FILE – In this Dec. 20, 2018, file photo Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. Federal health authorities say vaping giant Juul Labs illegally promoted its electronic cigarettes as a safer option to smoking, including in a presentation to school children. The Food and Drug Administration issued a stern warning letter to the company Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, flagging various claims by Juul, including that its products are “much safer than cigarettes.” The FDA has been investigating Juul for months but had not previously warned the company. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Juul says it discontinued its school programs last September.

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