Data Insights

Studies Provide Insights on Role of Flavors to Help Adult Smokers in the U.S. Switch Off Combustible Cigarettes

Two recent survey-based behavioral studies conducted by the Centre for Substance Use Research of both retail and online customers, indicate that non-tobacco-flavored JUULpods are helping adult smokers in their switching journey from combustible cigarettes.

Two recent survey-based behavioral studies conducted by the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR), an independent, U.K.-based research center, of both retail and online customers, indicate that non-tobacco-flavored JUULpods are helping adult smokers in their switching journey from combustible cigarettes. After 90 days of JUUL use, adult smokers who primarily used Mint or Mango demonstrated the highest switch rates from combustible cigarettes, respectively.

As part of our action plan to combat youth usage of our products, we stopped accepting retail orders for non-tobacco/mint/menthol flavored JUULpods on November 13, 2018. We continue selling them only at JUUL.com, which features an industry-leading age verification system that restricts sales of all products to people 21 or older, as well as prevents bulk purchases.

The first study included 7,823 U.S.-based, adult smokers who purchased JUUL Starter Kits in retail outlets. Among the 4,260 respondents who completed the 90-day follow-up assessment, adult smokers who primarily used Mango and Mint demonstrated the highest switch rates. Fifty-eight percent of Mango users and 61 percent of Mint users had fully switched off combustible cigarettes for at least the last 30 days. Comparatively, 40 percent of Menthol users and 34 percent of Classic Tobacco users demonstrated completely switching for at least the last 30 days.

The second study included 7,633 U.S.-based, adult smokers who purchased JUUL Starter Kits through JUUL.com’s e-commerce platform. Of the 5,012 respondents who completed the 90-day follow-up assessment, those who primarily used Mint, again, demonstrated the highest switching rates, with 47 percent responding as having completely switched off combustible cigarettes for at least the last 30 days. Of those who primarily used Mango, 45 percent of respondents reported completely switching off cigarettes for at least the last 30 days. The lowest 90-day switch rate for adult smokers was observed among primary users of Classic Tobacco at 18 percent.

Mint and Mango were not only the options with the highest switching rates, they were also the most popular ones. Across both studies, Mint and Mango represented the highest frequency of primary use flavors among respondents who switched at the 90-day assessment. 

In the retail study, 26 percent of respondents who switched after 90 days primarily used Mango and 24 percent primarily used Mint.Similarly, in the e-commerce study, 27 percent of respondents who switched after 90 days primarily used Mango and 22 percent primarily used Mint. 

Note: Data in the second figure does not add up to 100% because a small number of switchers did not provide data on the flavor pods used.

These real-world, representative studies provide strong evidence that adult smokers not only are using flavored JUUL products, but that these products are also facilitating their switch from combustible cigarettes. Public health experts note that using flavors to dissociate from the taste of tobacco can help ease a smoker’s journey off combustible cigarettes.

“These results add to a growing body of scientific studies confirming what makes common sense,” said Dr. David B. Abrams, a professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU College of Global Public Health. “Smokers who find a satisfying alternative to cigarettes are more likely to switch if their vape device helps to forget the taste and smell of their cigarettes.”

“Flavors are an essential element of encouraging switching to vaping, and we need regulations that focus on a risk-benefit analysis rather than inadvertently perpetuating the cigarette epidemic,” said David Sweanor of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa.

An in-depth analysis of the data from both studies has been submitted by CSUR to a medical journal for peer review.

About the Studies:

JUUL Labs commissioned CSUR to independently design, administer, and analyze the results for both the e-commerce and retail studies. Study participants were asked to report primary flavor use at each follow-up point. A comparison of switching rates at 90 days of JUUL use, across flavored products, shows variation in switching rates by flavor.

For the retail study, invitations to complete an online survey were inserted into the packaging of JUUL Starter Kits, which were then distributed at random to approximately 10,000 licensed store retailers. The first 7,823 who qualified for the study were enrolled.

For the e-commerce study, invitations to complete an online survey about the use of cigarettes, JUUL products, and other e-cigarettes and vapor products were sent to approximately 37,536 U.S. adults aged 21 years and older who had recently purchased the JUUL Starter Kit from JUUL.com and consented to be contacted by JUUL Labs.