• August 12, 2020

Juul to invest $30 million to fight underage use of vapor

JUUL Labs has said that it will take additional decisive action to build on its existing ‘youth prevention and education programs.

The Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, said on April 24 that the agency was introducing several enforcement actions as part of a new Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to stop young people from using and gaining access to JUUL and other electronic cigarettes.

In a note issued through PRNewswire on April 25, JUUL said it would support state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21+.

Such support would be funded by an investment of $30 million during the next three years that would be dedicated to ‘independent research, youth and parent education, and community engagement efforts’.

‘JUUL Labs has seen significant success in its efforts to enable adult smokers to transition from cigarettes and also recognizes that young people have become aware of and gained access to its products,’ the company said.

‘The company is committed to combatting underage use of its products and engaging with the

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), members of Congress, local and state officials and members of the public health community on this important issue.

‘JUUL Labs will work with Tom Miller, the Iowa Attorney General, and a group of public officials and tobacco control individuals he will assemble to continue strengthening existing initiatives and new efforts to keep JUUL out of the hands of young people.

‘In addition, Attorney General Miller and the same group will work with JUUL Labs to develop a transparent and effective framework for independent research focused on the scientific and societal implications of vapor products.’

“Our company’s mission is to eliminate cigarettes and help the more than one billion smokers worldwide switch to a better alternative,” said JUUL Labs CEO Kevin Burns.

“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 US 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.”

The company said its support for state and federal efforts to raise the minimum age of purchase for JUUL and other vapor products to 21+ followed its announcement in August 2017 that it had raised the minimum age of purchase on its own e-commerce site to 21+, even though the legal age of purchase in many states remained at 18.

As part of its note, JUUL said that additional programs to be launched or expanded in 2018 included:

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 website to help increase parents’ awareness of JUUL and provide information on the negative impacts of nicotine on youth.