Will The Hysterical US Media and Tobacco Control Groups Be Placated By JUUL’s Announcement?
In a bid to put an end to the media hysteria surrounding their product the company behind JUUL has pledged to do its bit to combat under age sales.
They’ve put their money where their mouth is setting aside $30million over the next three years and have agreed to work alongside opponents of their vaping pod system.
Some might say that’s capitulation on their part particularly as they’ve agreed to support a plan to raise the age limit of buying vape products in general from 18 to 21-years-old – especially given in many states its legal to buy tobacco products at 18.
For me and whilst I can see good intentions – it’s not a bad price to pay for a little bit of positive publicity though as I’ve said in the past all this bad publicity has certainly helped JUUL get a strong foothold in the US vape industry…no news is bad news as they say…
JUUL has been under constant US media attack for the last year or so with phrases such as ‘teen vaping epidemic’ and the like attracting the attention of the Federal Drug Administration [FDA] and anti tobacco pressure groups demanding action.
Another shock horror angle the US media has taken is how similar to a flash drive the actual device looks with some quarters claiming kids were vaping in the classroom.
Like I said – ‘hysteria’ lol.
Last week it was reported that the JUUL brand held 47% of the US vape market however experts said 63% of users had no idea the devices contained nicotine.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said:
In some cases, our kids are trying these products and liking them without even knowing they contain nicotine.
Despite its relative harm – nicotine is seen as the big bad wolf in America with little sign of that opinion changing – despite scientific studies showing in the levels used in vaping its less addictive and in the same category as caffeine when it comes to effects on the body.
FDA Underage Vaping Crackdown Begins
Last week the FDA began a nationwide crackdown on underage vaping with 40 warnings issued to both bricks and mortar and online vape stores – a tiny fraction of the shops out there!
And in response JUUL Labs announced it was ready to do its part and work alongside both state and federal initiatives as well as tobacco control groups to get the minimum age raised.
In actual fact JUUL has already raised the minimum buying age of their product on their own website to 21 – obviously not enough for the anti vape brigade over there.
JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns said:
Our company’s mission is to eliminate cigarettes and help the more than one billion smokers worldwide switch to a better alternative.
We are already seeing success in our efforts to enable adult smokers to transition away from cigarettes and believe our products have the potential over the long-term to contribute meaningfully to public health in the U.S. and around the world.
At the same time, we are committed to deterring young people, as well as adults who do not currently smoke, from using our products. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: No young person or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL.
JUUL Labs Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould – who among other roles looks after the company’s ‘youth education programme’ said:
Our objective is to provide the 38 million American adult smokers with meaningful alternatives to cigarettes while also ensuring that individuals who are not already smokers, particularly young people, are not attracted to nicotine products such as JUUL.
We want to be a leader in seeking solutions, and are actively engaged with, and listening to, community leaders, educators and lawmakers on how best to effectively keep young people away from JUUL.
Will JUUL Be Available In Europe and the UK?
JUUL is still not available here in the UK and pinning the company down on if it ever will be is tricky.
This is probably due to the minefield of the TPD and TRPR however reports on some vape media sites say insiders reckon it could arrive on these shores before the end of this year.
JUUL has seem incredible growth since its birth and was founded by former smokers James Monsees and Adam Bowen.
The company chose the announcement to include ambitious plans for the rest of 2018:
- Investing in research and development to evaluate potential technologies to help prevent youth from gaining access to, and/or using JUUL;
- Building on the company’s efforts to enforce appropriate age verification at retail through its “secret shopper” program;
- Calling on social media platforms to remove content showing, and/or encouraging, youth use of JUUL
- Calling on online marketplaces to remove content that violates JUUL resale agreements by offering JUUL products for sale without age verification;
- Providing educational material at retail locations where JUUL products are sold and on the JUUL Web site to help increase parents’ awareness of JUUL and provide information on the negative impacts of nicotine on youth.
As to whether all this will be enough to stem the tsunami of bad press is unclear but as always we’ll keep a close eye on events.
Given it’s notoriety – for want of a better word – it will be interesting to see how it is received outside the US – here in the UK in particular.
Let’s face it as the price of e-liquid tumbles the cost of a pre-filled 2ml pod seems expensive in comparison – just me being budget minded 😉