Author: Greg Steinsiek

STATEMENT REGARDING NEW YORK RAISING THE PURCHASING AGE TO 21 FOR ALL TOBACCO AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

We commend Governor Cuomo for signing legislation to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in New York state. 

We cannot fulfill our goal to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in New York’s example.

Read more about our push to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products nationwide.

Reaction to the San Francisco Ban on E-Cigarettes

On June 25, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to ban the sale of e-cigarettes within city limits, at both retail and online, until they go through the FDA regulatory process. Under current FDA policy, these products can stay on the market through August 2022, when manufacturers must submit a product application. 

This effective prohibition will drive former adult smokers who successfully transitioned to vapor products back to combustible cigarettes, deny current adult smokers the opportunity to move off combustible use altogether, and create a thriving black market instead of addressing the actual causes of underage access and use.

Many have come out with the same reaction to this misguided policy, noting the significant negative impact for adult smokers. 


Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

“San Francisco Board of Supervisors poised to deliver huge gift to Philip Morris” (Dr. Michael Siegel: “San Francisco Board of Supervisors Poised to Deliver Huge Gift to Philip Morris,” The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary, 6/22/19)

“Earlier today, the Board approved an ordinance that will ban the sale of all electronic cigarettes in the city, including both brick-and-mortar and online sales. Before it becomes law, the ordinance is subject to a final vote, which is expected to take place next week. … Absurdly, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is allowing the continued, unfettered sale of real cigarettes — the ones that kill more than 400,000 Americans (including more than 40,000 Californians) each year” (Dr. Michael Siegel: “San Francisco Board of Supervisors Poised to Deliver Huge Gift to Philip Morris,” The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary, 6/22/19)

“This has to be one of the most insane public health proposals I have ever seen. This legislation basically says: ‘We care so much about the health of our kids that we can’t allow e-cigarettes to remain on the market until they have a complete safety review. However, we are perfectly happy allowing cigarettes—which have had extensive safety reviews and been found to be killing hundreds of thousands of Americans each year—to remain on the market” (Michael Siegel, “Why Is SF Considering Banning Fake Cigarettes But Allowing The Real Ones To Stay On The Market?” San Francisco Examiner, 3/26/19)


David J. Johns, Executive Director of The National Black Justice Coalition

“There are several potential negative impacts this ban would have on the black community. First, a ban that removes all vapor products risks folks who have stopped smoking cigarettes reverting back. Simply put, prohibition does not work. Lawmakers have the responsibility to enforce reasonable expectations. With that, let’s do this responsibly, we should focus on regulation, responsible marketing and accountability for companies that violate policies.”

“Adults should have the opportunity to make adult decisions while we continue to find ways to reduce the number of adults using both cigarettes and e-cigarette alternatives. Beyond restricting the rights of responsible adults making informed decisions, an unintended consequence includes increasing the use and purchase of cigarettes.” (David J. Johns, Op-Ed, “San Francisco Vaping Ban Will Disproportionately Impact The Black Community,” San Francisco Examiner, 6/30/19)


San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board

“But the crusade needs a reality check. It’s not as if reasonable steps are not being taken to study vaping and restrict its appeal to youth. The city cracked down on flavored e-cigarettes through a ballot measure last year. The federal Food and Drug Administration is entering the picture with its own limitations aimed at curbing sales. Vaping is a tempting public villain. Manufacturers should be treated with skepticism about claims that vaping is a benign habit. What vaping doesn’t deserve is a dose of shortsighted demonizing that does little to change the bigger picture of tobacco abuse and other health dangers the city is loath to confront” (San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, “Editorial: San Francisco Vaping Ban Is Purely Political Grandstanding,” San Francisco Chronicle, 6/21/19)


Josh Barro, Columnist

“Instead of Juul, San Francisco should have banned cigarettes” (Josh Barro, “Instead Of Juul, San Francisco Should Have Banned Cigarettes,” New York Magazine, 6/26/19)

“Ideally, you should want a public policy that encourages smokers to switch to vaping; that discourages non-users of nicotine products, especially minors, from taking up any nicotine product; and that discourages vape users from switching to combustible cigarettes. San Francisco’s proposed policy (a second vote by the Board of Supervisors is required before it becomes law) fails to meet the third test because it makes traditional cigarettes easier to obtain than vapes” (Josh Barro, “Instead Of Juul, San Francisco Should Have Banned Cigarettes,” New York Magazine, 6/26/19)

“Adult smokers who are thinking about switching to vaping, or who have already done so, might continue buying cigarettes because the city will make that the more convenient option” (Josh Barro, “Instead Of Juul, San Francisco Should Have Banned Cigarettes,” New York Magazine, 6/26/19)


Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave a tentative thumbs-up to the ban last week, and the supervisors are expected to reaffirm their support in a final vote Tuesday. We hope the supervisors will see the light before then. Not only is it bad public policy to outlaw a legal product that’s widely available just outside the city’s borders, but it’s bad public health policy to come down harder on the lesser of two tobacco evils” (Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, “San Francisco’s E-Cigarette Ban Isn’t Just Bad Policy, It’s Bad For Public Health,” Los Angeles Times 6/24/19) 

“There are more reasonable ways to attack teen vaping than criminalizing electronic cigarettes for everyone. The state is already trying one: Two years ago it raised the legal age for all tobacco products from 18 to 21, which cut off legal access to those products for teens who may still be in high school and might purchase electronic cigarettes for their younger school friends. San Francisco adopted another last year: banning fruit and candy flavorings that appeal to teens. The city hasn’t given this narrower ban much of a chance to show results, however. A third possibility would be to restrict e-cigarette sales more tightly, such as by permitting only retail outlets that use point-of-sale ID readers and restricting how many electronic cigarettes can be purchased at one time” (Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, “San Francisco’s E-Cigarette Ban Isn’t Just Bad Policy, It’s Bad For Public Health,” Los Angeles Times 6/24/19)

Study Highlights Influence of Illegal Compatible Products

recent study in Tobacco Control relating to an analysis of “JUUL-related” Instagram posts contains serious factual errors and mischaracterizations of JUUL Labs’ historical social-media activity, falsely tying the company to the activities of manufacturers of “JUUL compatible” products that we believe are illegally on the market. These products come from a large swath of manufacturers that aggressively target those underage through irresponsible marketing on social media and youth-appealing flavors such as “Strawberry Milk,” “Pink Lemonade,” “Lucky Charm,” “Bubble Bubble,” “Sour Gummy,” and “Rainbow Drops.”

While JUUL Labs appreciates the authors’ interest in understanding the tie between social-media content and youth use of vapor products, they improperly conflate historical content on JUUL Labs’ authorized Instagram account (defunct since November 2018) with wholly unaffiliated third-party content.

The effect is a misleading and inaccurate analysis, albeit masked as “research,” which mischaracterizes JUUL Labs’ prior social-media activity. At the time of this study, third-party users generated well over 99.99 percent of the Instagram content related to JUUL products. Additionally, JUUL Labs did not sponsor any “influencer” activities on any social media platform, including Instagram, from March to May 2018, when the research was conducted. As a result, this study does not measure JUUL Labs’ social-media presence as alleged, but instead provides a snapshot of the inappropriate social-media content perpetuated by others, including manufacturers of illegal and potentially dangerous compatible products that aggressively promote their products on social media to youth. 

Indeed, the authors conspicuously attribute the actions of these manufacturers of illegal compatible products, which aggressively promote their products on social media to youth, as if it were authorized and supported by JUUL Labs. In fact, JUUL Labs has sued Eonsmoke, one of the manufacturers whom the authors single out as a particularly egregious social-media offender, while inaccurately claiming they are an “affiliate vendor” of JUUL Labs. This is simply false.

In light of the widespread inaccuracies and mischaracterizations inherent to the study, we have requested the authors either retract it from publication or implement the extensive corrections needed to address these inaccuracies.

We agree these types of posts from bad actors are a serious problem and that is why we employ a social-media monitoring team dedicated to submitting takedown requests of exactly the type of inappropriate third-party social media content the authors cite as problematic.  To date, the social media team has succeeded in having removed 31,889 social media listings, including 25,405 individual Instagram posts, and an additional 1,251 Instagram accounts (impacting over 1.1 million followers of those accounts). The study authors fail to consider our public actions on this front, while falsely tying us to the actions of these irresponsible manufacturers.

Despite these many inaccuracies, the study does capture the rampant problems currently posed by counterfeit and compatible manufacturers, as well as other third parties, targeting youth on social media.  These products, in violation of FDA deeming laws, regulations, and policies represent a pressing public health threat: They are made with unknown ingredients and under unknown manufacturing and quality standards. Moreover, these products are marketed in overtly youth-appealing flavors and packaging and often sold online with little to no age verification. 

In addition to suing Eonsmoke in multiple forums for infringement of JUUL Labs’ intellectual property, we have initiated legal actions enforcing JUUL Labs’ intellectual property against dozens of other manufacturers of both illegal JUUL-compatible products and counterfeit products being imported from China.As smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death globally, and continues to claim nearly half a million American lives annually, it is vital we preserve access to alternative products for adult smokers. At the same time, category-wide action is needed to address these and other products that will continue to contribute to youth access and use because of their wide availability and youth-appealing marketing.

Guest Post: Designing With Empathy

It’s no secret that smoking kills a lot of people every year. According to the Center for Disease Control, “cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.”

Knowing this, I asked myself: why do adult smokers still smoke?

As a designer, my job is to create experiences that are meaningful and add value to and impact people’s lives. I do this by being empathetic to the audience of whatever product I’m designing. Because I don’t smoke, and never have, I have to rely on published facts and the experiences of those who do. The CDC lays out an abundance of striking data around cigarette-smoking, very openly and clearly. How I respond to these facts determines what kind of designer I am, and what kind of designer I want to be.

Finding empathy for adult smokers

Most adult smokers are trying, but have not yet found a way to meaningfully change their relationship with nicotine. Shouldn’t we be finding solutions to help these people and those around them? Don’t these millions of people deserve a better alternative?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming adult smokers for their plight. Not only is this cruel, but it’s also unhelpful.

Behind every smoker is a complicated personal journey into smoking. Knowing and respecting that journey — and designing an alternative path forward  — is designing a new life. I, myself, have loved ones who still struggle with a 35+ year history with cigarettes. I’m doing this for them.

Adult smokers deserve an alternative to combustible cigarettes.

Like many other designers, I want to make an impact. I want to design based on empathy. I want to design based on data. The design problems that we tackle for adult smokers, through technological innovations, have the potential to be profoundly impactful worldwide, and that’s exciting. As a designer at JUUL Labs, my ultimate intentions when designing our future products are:

●  To design an intuitive experience that gives nicotine users insight into their usage;

●  To create a pathway to provide users with  greater control and visibility into their usage;

● To build on this technology in a way that helps adult smokers and prevents unauthorized use, including underage use.

“If a consumer wants to quit our product, they can,” said James Monsees, co-founder of JUUL Labs in TechCrunch. “We will give them the toolset to do that in the smoothest possible way.”

What resonated with me about this quote, discussing a potential future state of JUUL Labs products, was the clear focus on giving the user control over their experience.

“I’ll probably smoke until I die,” was a phrase I heard in one of our research interviews, said with an air of nonchalance. I realized that this was the voice of someone who felt that they had lost control over their relationship to nicotine.

The crux of our approach has to be the empathy we show our core demographic — the adult smoker. We have to practice what we preach, design products that give our customers greater control and visibility , and empower them with innovative features.

We have to give them a path towards control that works for them.

As part of the design process, we evaluated a lot of existing apps that help you track and measure behavior. Many of those apps require you to do chore-like maintenance; regularly inputting data without helping the individual reach the goals they set forth. This in-turn has an adverse effect on the individual, and can present more opportunities for them to feel like they are failing.

While I don’t know what the perfect solution looks like yet, I certainly know what I don’t want – I don’t want users to feel like this is yet another chore on their to-do list; I don’t want to ask for any information without offering the user something in return; I don’t want to shame users or set them up for failure; and I don’t want them to feel alone in their struggle. I want any experience I design to feel as seamless as our physical product does — no buttons, no maintenance, simple, and unobtrusive.

Digital behavioral change that works with minimal effort.

What does it look like and when will we get there? I don’t know, we have the privilege to “think big” — one of JUUL Labs’ company values.

Our mission to eliminate cigarettes is ambitious, and requires insight into how adult smokers rely on combustible cigarettes in their daily lives. Accessibility is an incredibly important part of the conversation as we, as a company, approach our design challenges, because it dictates whether or not our product is useful to people who need or want to consume nicotine.

I’m excited to come to work everyday because I get to be a part of a myriad of projects that, together, could present a holistic, realistic approach to switching off of cigarettes, managing nicotine use, and preventing youth access to vapor products. Prior to working at JUUL Labs, I worked on consumer-facing health management app that began to pivot into tackling problems like cigarette-smoking. Now that I’m at JUUL Labs, the scale of possibilities for positive impact is so much bigger.

If you’re reading this and still think, “I still just can’t get behind nicotine in any shape or form,” that’s completely understandable. I know this touches a deeply emotional vein for people who have seen their loved ones suffer at the hands of cigarette addiction, or any addiction.

Because, for me, it hasn’t been enough to tell them, “please stop smoking cigarettes.” I want to work on a viable alternative, and designing at JUUL Labs allows me to do exactly that.

P.S. We’re hiring!

Our Commitment To Youth Prevention

Youth use of vapor products remains an urgent issue, and JUUL Labs shares public concerns over the reported increase in use among youth, which is why we have initiated meaningful measures to limit access and appeal of JUUL products to those underage.

In November 2018, we launched a comprehensive action plan to combat youth usage in order to preserve the potential public-health impact for the 34 million adult smokers in the United States. These actions include:


We strongly support responsible legislation, such as raising the minimum-purchasing age for tobacco products, including vapor products like JUUL, to 21 years of age. We know that obtaining tobacco products from friends or siblings who are of legal age, often high school seniors or recent graduates, is the main contributor to youth access and use.


In November of 2018, we suspended the distribution of Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber to traditional retail stores. These flavors are only currently available online at www.JUUL.com. Our website includes industry leading age-verification technology to restrict purchases to those 21 and older and limit the amount of product that can be purchased to prevent social-sourcing.


Since we submitted our action plan, we have strengthened our e-commerce platform to further restrict underage and bulk purchases:

  • We revised our bulk-purchasing limits to restrict users from purchasing excess quantities of product and reselling to others, potentially youth.
  • We implemented two-factor authentication for all new JUUL.com accounts.
  • We incorporated facial-recognition technology, requiring a potential purchaser to upload a photo in addition to his or her government-issued identification if their personal information cannot be verified by publicly-available records

We have ramped up our secret-shopper program four-fold – from 500 to 2,000 shops per month – checking against age-verification and bulk-purchasing (2 devices and 5 pod packages per transaction) restrictions, as well as revised our policy and notified retailers that we will penalize them for FDA CMP violations.


We exited our U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts, and we are continuously working to remove inappropriate third-party social media content in partnership with major social media companies. Third-party users generate more than 99 percent of all social media content related to JUUL.


We have started the process to build a robust product tracking system. Ultimately, we will be able to trace a device confiscated from an underage user back through the distribution channel, potentially identifying the retailer that sold the product, and take appropriate action. Additionally, we are moving full-steam ahead with the development of our Bluetooth-connected device that could incorporate user-level access restrictions.


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Statement Regarding Connecticut Raising the Purchasing Age to 21 For All Tobacco and Vapor Products

We applaud Governor Ned Lamont, Senate President Martin Looney, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, and all the Connecticut state legislators for their successful efforts to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21.

We won’t succeed in providing the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in Connecticut’s example.

Read more about our push to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products nationwide.

JUUL LABS PURCHASES NEW OFFICE SPACE IN SAN FRANCISCO

JUUL Labs is pleased to announce our purchase of the 123 Mission Street building in San Francisco, which will serve as additional office space to accommodate our rapidly growing team. We have always been a proud San Francisco-based company, and remain committed to serving the community as we focus on helping adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes — the leading cause of preventable death — and combating underage use.

JUUL LABS PRESENTS NEW DATA ON SECONDHAND VAPOR, ROLE OF FLAVORED PRODUCTS IN SWITCH RATES AND PUFF TOPOGRAPHY AT THE 6TH GLOBAL FORUM ON NICOTINE

This week, we presented new data from three studies that shed light on important environmental, behavioral and product-use factors associated with the use of vapor products, including JUUL. The results were presented at the 6th Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw, Poland.

Cigarette smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death worldwide, accounting for more than 8 million deaths each year from both direct use and indirect exposure to combustible smoke. It is critical that we find alternative options to combustible cigarettes for the world’s 1.1 billion adult smokers1and those around them, which is why we are pleased to have the opportunity to share our research at this year’s Forum.

ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF VAPOR PRODUCTS

Results from a clinical study of 30 adult smokers found an approximately 99% reduction of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide particles in secondhand (exhaled breath) vapor associated with the use of the JUUL system compared to the use of combustible cigarettes. The aggregate measurements of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide particles were not statistically different from the background levels measured without product use.  

In air quality analyses, concentrations of respirable particles were elevated in every environment and product evaluated. However, the average rise in airborne particles was lower with the JUUL system versus the other vapor product and combustible cigarettes. Room air nicotine levels were 89%–95% lower following ad libitum vapor product use (using the product at their discretion) versus cigarettes. The study authors note the presence and variability of background environmental source chemicals as a factor in the analysis.

These findings align with the current scientific understanding of the role alternative nicotine delivery systems can play for adult smokers and the corresponding environmental impact for those around them.

NON-TOBACCO-FLAVORED JUUL PRODUCTS ASSOCIATED WITH HIGHER LIKELIHOOD OF SWITCHING FROM FROM COMBUSTIBLE CIGARETTES

Results from another study demonstrate adult smokers who primarily used non-tobacco-flavored JUUL products were more likely than those who primarily used tobacco-flavored JUUL products to have successfully switched from smoking combustible cigarettes over a 6-month period.

The study followed more than 37,000 US adult smokers who had recently purchased JUUL products at retail or on the company’s e-commerce platform. Participants completed online surveys over 6 months.

Researchers analyzed data from a subset of 21,332 smokers aged 21+ years who had purchased a JUUL starter kit and completed at least two follow-up assessments. Study participants completed baseline and 30-day, 60-day, 90-day and 180-day follow-up assessments via online surveys. The assessments asked study participants about JUUL flavor use and switching—defined as no smoking, not a single puff— for the previous 30 days prior to the assessment. JUUL Labs commissioned and funded the study, Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) independently designed and administered the survey underlying this data analysis. 

Across 30-, 60- and 90-day assessments, use of menthol-based (i.e., Menthol and Mint) and non-tobacco/menthol-based (NTM) flavored JUUL products, compared with the use of tobacco flavored JUUL products, were positively associated with past 30-day smoking abstinence at the 60-, 90- and 180-day assessments. Adult smokers who primarily used menthol-based and NTM flavors were 14% and 7% more likely, respectively, to have switched than those primarily using tobacco flavors across the 6-month study period. 

There has been an active discussion about the role of flavors in supporting adult smokers who want to switch from combustible cigarettes and, at JUUL Labs, we are committed to driving research to inform these discussions. These results add to a growing body of evidence that suggest that the use of vapor products in non-tobacco flavors may potentially help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes compared to tobacco flavors.

ADDITIONAL INSIGHT INTO INHALATION PATTERNS (“PUFF TOPOGRAPHY”) IN ADULT SMOKERS

A third study sought to measure real-life puffing behaviors of 30 adult smokers when using JUUL Virginia Tobacco (5% nicotine) over the course of 15 days. On Day 1 and Day 15 of the study, subjects were asked to use the product as they normally would. Researchers then assessed a number of parameters including puff duration, puff volume, flow rate and time between puffs.

Investigators observed a correlation between initial enjoyment of the product and increases in ongoing use parameters, including puff count, puff volume and puff duration. In contrast, adult smokers who reported lower enjoyment tended to diminish use over time and to take shorter puffs over time.

Understanding how adult smokers interact with JUUL products is important because it helps ensure our other clinical and preclinical test conditions, including mechanized puff machines, are correctly calibrated to mimic real-world use of the product among adult smokers, including puff duration and volume. Puff topography studies also provide valuable insight into how the initial use and enjoyment of the product can influence future switching behavior.

Data were collected at Rose Research Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, using the CReSS Pocket, a version of the widely-used Clinical Research Support System for Laboratories reference system. The Center specializes in tobacco dependence research, including research on adult smokers, addiction, smoking cessation, tobacco harm reduction and the use of other tobacco products.

Ongoing inquiry into puff topography and overall user patterns will be important to further the scientific understanding of the potential impact of vapor products as a viable alternative to combustible cigarettes.

For more information on all of the data presented, please visit jliscience.com.

JUUL Labs is committed to both conducting and supporting durably designed, painstakingly executed preclinical, clinical, and behavioral research examining the potential public health impact of our products. We are excited to have been a part of one of the largest international conferences on nicotine research and sciences, and look forward to presenting more data going forward on our mission to eliminate combustible cigarettes among adult smokers.

STATEMENT REGARDING TEXAS RAISING THE PURCHASING AGE TO 21 FOR ALL TOBACCO AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

We applaud Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Joan Huffman and Representative John Zerwas for their successful efforts to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21.

We won’t succeed in providing the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in Texas’ example.

Read more about our push to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products nationwide.

CIGARETTE SALES IN THE U.S. REACH LARGEST EVER YEAR-OVER-YEAR DECLINE IN MAY 2019

Cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Almost twice as many Americans die from smoking-related illnesses – nearly half a million per year – than from obesity, alcohol, automobiles, and guns combined. The accelerating decline in cigarette consumption reinforces our mission to eliminate the use of combustible cigarettes among adult smokers.

The latest U.S. syndicated data tracking cigarette sales are showing sustained declines, while JUUL continues to gain share of combined cigarette pack and JUULpod volumes. In the most recent Nielsen data for the four-week period ending May 18, 2019, cigarette volumes faced a year-over-year decline of a staggering -11.2 percent — the largest year-over-year decline in the available Nielsen data.

This unprecedented decline is a continuation of the disruption the cigarette industry has faced since the second half of 2018, where the cigarette category faced then-historic volume declines averaging more than 5 percent as JUUL’s percent share of U.S. cigarette packs plus JUULpods increased. Those cigarette declines have continued to accelerate into 2019. The impact of this disruption is significant, as even a 1 percent annual decline in cigarette volumes represents approximately 125 million packs of combustible cigarettes disappearing from the U.S. category.

David Sweanor of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa said in the Winston-Salem Journal that this latest report “is yet more evidence of how significantly disruption has hit the tobacco/nicotine market.” Sweanor added that “this, in turn, raises the question of just how much more rapidly the use of lethal cigarettes could decline if public awareness and public policy were to facilitate, rather than obstruct, such a transition.”

Multiple factors have driven the long-term trend in cigarette declines, but we believe the largest recent contributor, particularly over the past 12 months, has been the growth of JUUL products as a true alternative for adult smokers.

These data are an encouraging trend and are why JUUL Labs will continue to tirelessly work to eliminate cigarettes. 

JUUL Labs Presents New Data on the Role of Flavors in Switching from Combustible Cigarettes

JUUL Labs has presented findings on the switching patterns of adult smokers who use the JUUL system in different flavors at the 2nd Scientific Summit on Tobacco Harm Reduction in Athens, Greece. The data are analyses from an ongoing, large-scale study of new JUUL users.

The study was based on an ongoing survey of adult smokers (n=19,595) who purchased a JUUL starter kit and who had reported smoking combustible cigarettes in the previous 30 days at the beginning of the study. Participants were assessed for their continued smoking habits at 60-, 90- and 180-day follow-up periods using an online survey, and the results of these follow-up assessments were averaged. The study examined whether adult smokers who primarily used JUUL products in non-tobacco flavors differ from those who primarily used tobacco-flavored JUUL products in their future switching behavior.

Researchers concluded that, after accounting for both sociodemographic characteristics and smoking behaviors (i.e., past 30-day frequency and daily intensity of smoking), use of JUUL products in menthol-based flavors (Menthol and Mint) and other non-tobacco flavors (Mango, Cucumber, Fruit, Creme) at 30-day follow-up, compared to use of tobacco flavors, were associated with higher average rates of switching across the three subsequent study follow-up assessments (60, 90, and 180 days). Those who used Mint/Menthol had 23% greater adjusted odds of switching from cigarettes compared to a tobacco flavor. Those who used non-tobacco/menthol-based flavors had 18% greater adjusted odds of switching across the follow-up periods compared to tobacco flavors. The unadjusted odds were 53% for Mint/Menthol and 43% for non-tobacco/menthol-based flavors compared with the use of tobacco flavors.

Among the other findings is that users of tobacco-flavored JUUL products smoked combustible cigarettes more frequently and smoked a greater number of cigarettes per day than study participants who primarily used either Mint/Menthol or non-tobacco/menthol-based flavors. In addition, users of primarily tobacco flavors were, on average, more likely to be older, male, and white as compared to those who used Mint/Menthol and non-tobacco/menthol-based flavors.

Editorial From JUUL Labs CEO Kevin Burns: Our Dedication To Reducing Youth Vaping

Youth use of vapor products remains an urgent issue, and JUUL Labs shares public concerns over the proliferation of these products among kids. Sunday, the Winston-Salem Journal published an editorial from Kevin Burns, CEO of JUUL Labs. In it, Kevin discusses our comprehensive initiatives aimed at curbing underage use of vapor products, including JUUL products, while correcting misinformation that continues to circulate regarding JUUL Labs’ record on youth prevention.

The piece also reviews JUUL Labs’ record of proactive action intended to address youth vaping, while preserving the unprecedented switching opportunity the JUUL system offers current adult smokers. This includes our industry-leading advocacy for Tobacco 21 legislation at the state and federal level, as well as our action plan, a set of initiatives that represent the most aggressive youth prevention actions of anyone in the industry. JUUL Labs has always acted in service to our core mission to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes, which remain the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, while preventing underage use.

Key points from Kevin:

“Combatting youth use is critical for the success of our business. Our market is the over one million smokers in North Carolina and one billion worldwide who should have the opportunity to switch to vapor products if they so desire. We are seeing tremendous success so far as we believe our product is driving historic change in the consumption of combustible cigarettes.” –Kevin Burns, CEO JUUL Labs


“According to U.S. Nielsen data, cigarette sales that declined at an average rate of approximately 2.7% from 2011 to 2016 had historic declines of over 5% last year, increasing to over 10% recently. In North Carolina, recent data shows volume declines reaching almost 10%. These unprecedented trends represent a drop of over 13 billion fewer cigarettes smoked nationwide over the past year and over 400 million fewer cigarettes smoked in North Carolina alone.” –Kevin Burns, CEO JUUL Labs


“But we know that underage use endangers this incredible opportunity. That is why we have taken aggressive action and support the FDA’s recent draft guidance. And it is why we urge government agencies across the country to act against counterfeit, knockoff and other illegal vapor products, which are often made with unknown ingredients, with unknown quality standards, and with youth-appealing flavors and packaging.” –Kevin Burns, CEO JUUL Labs


Read the op-ed in its entirety here.

OUR COMMITMENT TO SCIENTIFIC AND BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH

As we work to fulfill our mission to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes, JUUL Labs is committed to both conducting and supporting durably designed, painstakingly executed preclinical, clinical, and behavioral research examining the public health impact of our products. We occupy a unique space in this industry as we seek to completely eliminate combustible cigarettes by providing smokers an alternative nicotine delivery system.

We understand that there are many questions about the health impact of vapor products, and JUUL products in particular, and we are committed to contributing to the body of global public health research on these topics. To that end, JUUL Labs has built a robust scientific research program to assess the harm-reduction potential of JUUL products, including their impact on the individual user, their ability to switch adult smokers from combustible cigarettes, and the net-population impact on public health.

Our research portfolio is comprised of three principal fields of work:

Preclinical and toxicological research encompasses ingredient and analyte testing of JUUL e-liquids and product aerosols for a variety of substances, including harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) commonly found in combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products. This research also involves testing the impact of JUUL products on cytotoxicity (cell death) and genotoxicity (cell mutation). Our testing is conducted through reputable, independent third-party laboratories and we provide the results of these tests to regulatory bodies as required for market entry.

Our clinical program involves human subjects and examines how people use the product, how much and how often they use it, how biomarkers of exposure and potential harm change over time compared to cigarettes, the environmental impact to others, and the potential physiological impact to the individual.  Our clinical trials are reviewed and approved by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and follow the highest ethical standards for human clinical research.  

Our behavioral research examines what smokers do in the real world when exposed to JUUL products.  We seek to answer the following questions: What are their switch and recidivism rates; who are the smokers that are most successfully able to switch and who are not; and what attributes drive switching?  We collect this information through IRB-approved research surveys of JUUL users, and we currently have over 70,000 participants enrolled in behavioral studies around the world. We believe this is the largest behavioral research program in the world dedicated to the study of vapor products and we plan to further grow the program with tens of thousands of more participants by year end. Results from our most recent studies are promising and find that approximately half of all smokers demonstrate 30-day abstinence from combustible cigarettes at follow-up assessments after just three months of JUUL use.

One principle unites the three fields of our research program: transparency

We are conducting this research in order to share it with the scientific and public health community and our regulators. We do this by submitting our research to the peer-reviewed publication process, presenting at conferences, and publishing scientific papers. We are committed to asking the right and relevant questions – and we take direction on what to research from FDA’s public and policy statements, including its draft guidance on PMTAs for vapor products, as well as issues identified by leading public health researchers.

While we have built a robust, reliable, and transparent research program, we also know that we cannot answer these questions alone. There are simply too many pressing issues, and we need independent researchers from around the world to contribute to the public understanding of vapor products. In order to promote further study, JUUL Labs has established an Investigator Sponsored Research (ISR) program to fund independent research examining the public health impact of JUUL products. ISR studies are executed independent of JUUL Labs, and researchers retain control over the analysis and public disclosure of their results, including the publication process. We have funded a number of ISR studies to date and are in active discussions with a number of other interested researchers and institutions.

We understand the common distrust of historical tobacco companies around scientific research and how they have misled the public with false claims and cherry-picked data, leading to warranted skepticism of newcomers to the nicotine delivery space. But JUUL Labs is a next generation company dedicated to transparency and information sharing. We embrace nonpartisan science that informs and advances public health.

JUUL Labs is committed to earning the trust of the scientific community by conducting and funding research over the long-term, and continuing to openly share that research through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and regulatory submissions.

STATEMENT REGARDING VERMONT RAISING THE PURCHASING AGE TO 21 FOR ALL TOBACCO AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

We applaud the Governor and the Vermont General Assembly for enacting legislation to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21, making Vermont the eighth state to take this important step in 2019.

We won’t succeed in providing the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in Vermont’s example.

Read more about our push to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products nationwide.

OUR SUPPORT FOR T21 LAWS

JUUL Labs has pledged support for Tobacco 21 legislation and our teams are actively working with lawmakers wherever legislation is being considered. Tobacco 21 laws are critical, as they directly address the largest access point youth have to tobacco and vapor products – peers of legal age. JUUL Labs remains committed to preventing underage use while providing a satisfying alternative to the world’s deadliest consumer product – cigarettes.

We are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies.”

Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs CEO


A new poll shows Americans want to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21.

JUUL Labs commissioned and funded Morning Consult to independently design, administer, and analyze an online poll of 30,000 adults throughout the country, on whether or not they support legislation to raise the minimum purchase age of tobacco products, including vapor products, from 18 to 21.



JUUL Labs invests in ad campaign throughout the United States

Our ads advocating for Tobacco 21 legislation will run throughout the country in digital, print, and radio.

Print ad:

Radio ad:

STATEMENT REGARDING MARYLAND RAISING THE PURCHASING AGE TO 21 FOR ALL TOBACCO AND VAPOR PRODUCTS

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

We commend Governor Hogan for signing legislation to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in Maryland, and would like to recognize the leadership of Delegate Dereck Davis and Senator Delores Kelley in this effort. 

We cannot fulfill our mission to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in this country, if youth-use continues unabated. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth-use rates. That is why we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact these effective policies and hope more jurisdictions follow in Maryland’s example.

Read more about our push to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco and vapor products nationwide.

Statement regarding recent announcement by Walmart on new tobacco policies

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

JUUL Labs commends Walmart for taking the responsible step to raise the age to purchase tobacco products, including vapor products, from 18 to 21. We strongly support Tobacco 21 policies, as they fight one of the largest contributors to youth usage – social sourcing through legal-age peers. We are committed to preventing underage access to our products and that is why in November 2018, we implemented a comprehensive action plan including stopping the sale of non-tobacco/non-menthol-based JUULpods to traditional retail stores. Industry and retail need to work with regulators to combat youth use and preserve the opportunity for adults to switch from combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world.

American Journal of Health Behavior Publishes Study Measuring Prevalence of Awareness and Use of JUUL and Other Vapor Product Among U.S. Adolescents

JUUL Labs issued a statement regarding a behavioral study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior investigating the prevalence of awareness and use of JUUL products among a representative sample of U.S. adolescents, aged 13–17 years. This study was conducted as part of the company’s expansive scientific program to better understand youth-use patterns and develop effective measures to reverse the reported increase in youth use of vapor products, including JUUL.

The study, a cross-sectional, self-complete online survey conducted between Sept. 21, 2018 and Oct. 3, 2018, included a nationally-representative probability sample of 1,017 U.S. adolescents aged 13-17 years. JUUL Labs commissioned and funded the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) and GfK Global Research (now IPSOS) to independently design, administer, and analyze the results for this study. JUUL Labs did not have access to the raw data or exert control over the study.

CSUR, GfK and JUUL Labs met with FDA to discuss the design, conduct, and implementation of the study, and survey questions were adapted from federally-funded tobacco surveys, including the National Youth Tobacco Survey and Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco Control (PATH) survey. The study assessed both awareness and self-reported use of the JUUL device, other vapor products, and combustible cigarettes. Researchers received both parental and participant consent before administering the study, and the study protocol and survey instrument were reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board.

It is important to note that the U.S. vapor-based e-cigarette market now includes not only a large number of illegal, unlicensed JUUL-plug-compatible products (cartridges that are not manufactured, licensed or sold by JUUL Labs, but said to be compatible with the JUUL system), but also pod-based systems designed to closely resemble the JUUL system. The study did not capture what percentage of self-reported use of a JUUL product was with a product manufactured by JUUL Labs versus copycat or counterfeit products (both vaporizers and pods) manufactured by unrelated, third-party companies — or simply devices mistakenly believed to be a JUUL product by the respondents. JUUL Labs continues to aggressively go after the manufacturers of these illegal products, which are often marketed in kid-appealing flavors that differ drastically from the company’s limited product offering, through legal action and engagement with regulatory authorities.

Adolescent awareness of JUUL products

Approximately 90.3% of adolescents aged 15-17 years and 88.6% of adolescents aged 13-14 years had ever seen or heard of an e-cigarette before this study.  By comparison, 45.5% of 15-17 year-olds and 29.1% of 13-14 year-olds recognized the JUUL brand or product specifically.

Adolescent use of JUUL products

Researchers also assessed prevalence of use among self-reported JUUL product users, including ever use, current use (defined as use on 1-20 days of the past 30 days) and frequent use (defined as use on 20-30 of the past 30 days).

Approximately 7.6% of those aged 15-17 years and 1.5% of those aged 13-14 years reported ever use of a JUUL product. By comparison, 18.4% of 15-17 year-olds and 8.4% of 13-14 year-olds reported ever use of anye-cigarette.

Approximately 4% of those aged 15-17 years reported current use of a JUUL product, with 0.3% reporting frequent use. 8.7% of this age group reported current use of any e-cigarette and 0.8% reported frequent use. 

Approximately 0.8% of adolescents aged 13-14 years reported current use of JUUL products, with no measurable frequent use among this age group. 1.5% of this age group reported current use of any e-cigarette and, similar to JUUL product use, researchers found no measurable frequent use of e-cigarettes generally.

Use of flavors

Among 15-17 year-olds who indicated current JUUL use, Mango was the most commonly reported ‘flavor used most often’ in the past 30 days, followed by Fruit and Mint, respectively. Overall, 2.2% of adolescents aged 15-17 years had ever used a JUUL product andstarted with Mango flavored JUULpods, and 2.3% of adolescents aged 15-17 years had used Mango flavored JUULpods in the past 30 days.

“Peer-reviewed research helps illuminate key issues regarding underage use of vapor products and is vital to informing the formation of long-term, effective solutions,” said Kevin Burns, CEO at JUUL Labs. “We commissioned this study as a first step to assessing underage use of our products and we believe more research on youth prevalence and perception of all vapor products, including JUUL, is needed. This survey data was collected before implementation of our Action Plan last November, including our decision to stop the sale of non-tobacco and non-menthol-based flavored JUUL products to traditional retail. The study results underscore the importance of category-wide actions to fully address and prevent underage use of vapor products, including JUUL, and we stand in strong support of the FDA’s draft guidance restricting the sale of certain flavored products, including JUULpods, at retail outlets and online. The next youth prevalence study we are sponsoring is currently out in the field, and we look forward to sharing those results with the FDA, scientific community and general public once finalized. We remain committed to eliminating underage use of JUUL products, while preserving access for adult smokers seeking a true alternative to combustible cigarettes.”

About the Study

JUUL Labs commissioned and funded the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) to independently design, administer, and analyze the results for this study. Participants between the ages of 13 and 17 whose parents are panelists of the GfK’s KnowledgePanel were selected through a nationally-representative probability sample. The GfK’s KnowledgePanel is the largest probability-based online research panel in the U.S. designed to be representative of the non-institutionalized U.S. population aged 18 years and older. The survey took roughly 20 minutes to complete and each individual received $25 for their participation. The study protocol and survey instrument was approved by Advarra Institutional Review Board. CSUR will administer an identical survey to a similarly sized probability sample of US adolescents aged 13-17 years in April and May of 2019.

STATEMENT SUPPORTING BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION TO RAISE THE NATIONWIDE MINIMUM AGE TO BUY TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM 18 TO 21

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

We commend these bipartisan lawmakers for introducing this Tobacco 21 legislation, as we strongly support raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 and have been actively supporting legislation to do this at the federal level and in states across the country. JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world. To accomplish that goal, we must restrict youth usage of vapor products. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem – sharing by legal-age peers – and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth usage rates. That is why we will continue to work with lawmakers across the country to enact these effective policies.