Bates: Complaints About ‘Special Juul Issue’ Absurd

Clive Bates

Recent complaints about The American Journal of Health BehaviorSpecial Issue on Juul” are absurd, anti-scientific and somewhat disturbing, according to Clive Bates, director of The Counterfactual.

In a letter to the editor, Bates said the Juul Labs monograph provides highly salient information on changes in smoking status, drivers of transition, population health impact and retailer behaviors. “The summary for the introduction to the series should be enough to whet the appetite of the genuinely curious and scientifically engaged,” he wrote.

According to Bates, the fact that research is done by company in the nicotine-delivery business does not invalidate the findings. In his view, Juul’s scientists have done excellent work that stands on its merits and has now been published after thorough peer review in a reputable journal with transparent disclosure of its provenance.

“The real question here is why these tobacco control activists show so little curiosity about the changes that are reshaping the U.S. tobacco and nicotine market,” he wrote. “As Juul rose in popularity, we saw unusually rapid declines in cigarette sales and smoking prevalence in both adults and adolescents.

“The right response to that is to want to know more. The wrong response is to try to suppress or discredit informative data and analysis just because it tells a story that is at variance with a narrative about the evils of both e-cigarettes and the companies that make them.”