Author: Greg Steinsiek

New Data Finds 30-day Abstinence Rates Increase Over Time for New JUUL Users

A peer-reviewed study published last week in Harm Reduction Journal found that, after six months of JUUL product use, the proportion of smokers reporting 30-day abstinence from cigarette smoking had climbed from 47% at the three-months follow-up assessment to 54% at the six-months follow-up assessment among the respondent sample (i.e. the participants who provided valid data on cigarette smoking at the follow-up assessments).

A previous peer-reviewed study published in March reported that after three months, nearly half of the participants who smoked combustible cigarettes at the start of the study and completed the three-months follow-up assessment had successfully abstained from cigarette smoking for the prior 30 days after purchasing a JUUL starter kit.

Enrolled sample: the pool of all participants that enrolled in the study at its starting point. The lower percentage numbers represent researchers’ conservative assumption that participants who dropped out of the study or did not respond to the question at one or both of the assessment points, “In the past 30 days, have you smoked a cigarette, even one or two puffs?”, were not abstinent.

Respondent sample: the pool of participants in the study who provided valid data on cigarette smoking at the three-month and six-month follow-up assessment points.

As we continue to work to provide adult smokers an alternative to cigarettes, JUUL Labs is committed to conducting and supporting durably-designed preclinical, clinical, and behavioral research examining the potential public health impact of our products. Our behavioral research program has enrolled over 70,000 participants around the world to date, with the aim of evaluating how adult smokers interact with JUUL products and which attributes impact the odds of transitioning from cigarettes to a nicotine alternative.

This research program is the backbone of what we do at JUUL Labs. We understand that it takes time to observe the real-world impact of our products, which is why we’ve set up multiple extensive, ongoing longitudinal studies that ask tens of thousands of eligible adult participants about their use of JUUL products and combustible cigarettes. We intend to conduct future follow-up assessments in this study for up to 18 months. 

Observing how participants change their behaviors over time gives us valuable insight into the role our product plays in moving adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes. With this information, we can learn what factors drive higher abstinence rates and minimize cigarette consumption among adult smokers.

This 7% increase in prior 30-day cigarette abstinence rate — between the subset of participants who completed the follow-up assessments at the three and six-month mark — is unprecedented and incredibly promising. Evaluating the potential impact of a product like JUUL on adult smokers will take time and patience, much like an adult smoker’s transition from cigarettes to an alternative. The results from this study show us that prolonged access to and use of JUUL products over time could result in a higher likelihood of refraining from smoking cigarettes.

The study found that participants who primarily used non-tobacco flavors were more likely to have not smoked a cigarette in the 30 days prior to the six-months follow-up assessment. For example, compared to those who primarily used tobacco-flavors, odds of reporting prior 30-day cigarette abstinence were 46% and 40% greater among primary users of Mint and Mango flavors, respectively.

We’re incredibly encouraged by these collective findings and the potential public health impact they present. Imagine the impact these numbers represent in the context of the world’s one billion adult smokers. Imagine if over half of those adult smokers moved away from combustible cigarettes to a nicotine alternative. That’s what we’re working towards at JUUL Labs.

Our Commitment to Scientific Research

We look forward to growing our current body of scientific evidence with more preclinical, clinical, and behavioral research. Longitudinal studies like this give us valuable insight into how adult smokers are using our products in the real world, and the results we’ve seen so far may reflect the potential that our product can help adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes over time.

We will continue to ask the right and relevant questions and present our findings with transparency.

JUUL Labs Stops The Sale Of Mint JUULpods In The United States

In light of the studies released this week relating to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey and Monitoring the Future survey, JUUL Labs’ CEO K.C. Crosthwaite announced that the company will immediately stop accepting orders from our retail partners for our Mint JUULpods in the U.S. and cease the sale of Mint JUULpods in the U.S. through our ecommerce site (JUUL.com). 

In making the announcement, Crosthwaite said: “These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the U.S. and earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with regulators, Attorneys General, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use. We will support the upcoming FDA flavor policy and will follow the PMTA process.”

As part of Crosthwaite’s review of JUUL Labs’ policies and practices, the company has already:

  • Refrained from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance. 
  • Suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S.
  • Stopped the sale of Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber JUULpods online in the U.S., pending FDA review. In November 2018, JUUL Labs stopped the distribution of these JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners. 
  • Announced a restructuring plan aimed at aligning the company’s organization and resources behind key priorities: earning trust by reducing and preventing underage use, investing in scientific research to ensure the quality of its PMTA application in the U.S., and expanding its commitment to develop new technology.
  • Ceased active support of Proposition C in San Francisco.

Crosthwaite and the leadership team will continue to review JUUL Labs’ policies and practices and will take appropriate actions as the company works to combat underage use and earn society’s trust.

As of today, JUUL Labs sells only Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco, and Menthol JUULpods in the U.S. and it will not sell any others under any name unless they are first authorized by the FDA as part of the PMTA process.

JUUL Labs suspends sale of non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors in the U.S.

In September, JUUL Labs announced that its new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, is leading a broad review of the company’s practices and policies. As part of that process, the company:

  • Suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S.
  • Ceased active support of Proposition C in San Francisco
  • Is refraining from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance and will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective

Today, Crosthwaite announced another action resulting from the company’s review — the suspension of the sale of our non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors (Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber) in the U.S., pending FDA review. 

Given the lack of trust in our industry, we believe the FDA’s PMTA process and its “appropriate for the protection of the public health” standard are the best ways to assess the role these products can play in helping adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes while also being kept out of the hands of youth.

In making the announcement, Crosthwaite said, “We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers.”

Until today, our non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors (Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber) were made available by JUUL Labs in the U.S. only at JUUL.com, which has strict age-verification controls.

As we evaluate what products to submit for PMTA, we will continue to develop scientific evidence to support the use of these flavored products, coupled with strict measures to combat underage use, as we believe these products can play an important role in helping adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes.

The company will continue to refrain from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance and will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective.

Pilot Study of RACS Program Shows Dramatic Improvement in Retailer Compliance

In August of this year, we implemented a series of new measures in the United States designed to build upon our efforts to combat youth access, appeal, and use of JUUL products and across the category. As part of that announcement, we launched JUUL Labs’ Retail Access Control Standards (RACS) program, a standards-based program tied to a retailer’s point-of-sale system which automatically locks when a JUUL product is scanned and remains locked until a retailer electronically scans a valid, of-age government-issued I.D. to verify both the age and I.D. validity. A RACS-compliant system also limits the amount of product that can be purchased in a single transaction, a policy designed to cut down on social sourcing and illegal third-party sales to underage users. JUUL Labs is the only vapor product company in the U.S. to require its retailers to maintain a mandatory bulk purchase policy which limits each transaction to one device and four refill kits.

Today, the company presented a poster at the 7th Annual Vermont Center on Behavior & Health Conference summarizing the results of a RACS pilot study conducted across a subset of regional convenience stores. The pilot study was designed to assess the system’s effectiveness in improving compliance rates and to monitor its implementation in a real-world setting. Participating retail outlets updated their point-of-sale systems to be RACS-compliant and trained store employees to follow RACS requirements for age verification and bulk-purchase limits. A third-party vendor conducted the pilot study.

From May to June 2019, a total of 3,990 compliance checks were conducted at 171 participating stores, 2,219 in the month prior to the implementation of RACS and 1,771 after implementation of RACS. An age-verification failure post-installation was defined as failure of the retailer to check a customer’s I.D., failure of the RACS system to require scanning of the I.D. prior to purchase, or failure of the RACS system to reject fake, expired, or otherwise invalid I.D.s. A bulk purchase failure post-installation was defined as failure of the scanning system to limit bulk purchases, or a retailer knowingly allowing an individual to complete two or more back-to-back transactions designed to evade the bulk purchase limits.

For both age-verification and bulk-purchasing audits, failure rates dropped drastically after implementing RACS.

  • For age-verification compliance, the overall failure rate fell from 36.8% for JUUL purchases before implementing RACS to 0.2% after implementation.
  • For bulk-purchase compliance, the overall failure rate fell from 29.3% for JUUL purchases before implementing RACS to 1.0% after implementation. 
  • 734 of 2,219 compliance checks resulted in an age-verification or bulk-purchase failure before implementation, while only 11 of 1,771 compliance checks resulted in an age-verification or bulk-purchase failure after implementation.
    • The two age-verification failures were attributable to store clerks scanning their own I.D.s on behalf of the customer.
    • Eight of the bulk-purchase failures were attributable to technical issues, including disabling of the feature, and the remaining failure was attributable to a store clerk allowing back-to-back transactions.

As previously announced, JUUL Labs’ leadership team, under the direction of newly-appointed CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, is overseeing a broad review of the company’s practices and policies to ensure alignment with its aim of responsible leadership within the industry. The preliminary evidence from this pilot study is compelling and demonstrates RACS can be an important component of a larger comprehensive youth-prevention framework that also incorporates marketing restrictions and additional controls.

JUUL Labs Continues To Build On National Program To Reduce Underage Use

Today, JUUL Labs is implementing a series of new measures in the United States that build upon our existing efforts to combat the issue of youth access, appeal, and use of vapor products.

The steps we have taken to date are far-reaching and comprehensive. We’ve long advocated for and supported Tobacco 21 (T21) laws, and over a dozen states this year have now passed policy to increase the minimum purchase age for tobacco products, including vapor products like JUUL, to 21. In November of 2018, in response to the troubling rise of youth vaping, we suspended the distribution of non-tobacco and non-menthol-based flavored JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners (more than 90,000). JUUL products now account for less than 5 percent of flavored vapor products sold in the United States, with our non-menthol and non-tobacco-based flavored products exclusively available through our own secure, strictly age-gated online channel. We discontinued our U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts, and our team has successfully removed more than 30,000 third-party social media listings to date, including 25,405 individual Instagram posts, and an additional 1,250 Instagram accounts (impacting over 1.1 million followers). We have also intensified efforts to combat illegal and potentially dangerous counterfeit and compatible products through multiple legal actions and complaints to the United States International Trade Commission

Today we are announcing a new series of aggressive steps to build upon these actions, including: 

Retail Access Control Standards (RACS)

We are working with retailers across the U.S. to implement the strictest age-verification point-of-sale standards ever imposed for an age-restricted product at retail, far exceeding those in place for other tobacco products or for alcohol. Under JUUL Labs’ Retail Access Control Standards (RACS) program every retail point-of-sale system immediately locks when a JUUL product is scanned and remains locked until a retailer electronically scans a valid, of-age government-issued I.D. to verify both the age and the I.D. validity. Additionally, RACS imposes automatic limits on the amount of product a legal-age customer can purchase. Scanned personal data will be eliminated immediately following the transaction.  

Through this technology, RACS directly combats two large drivers of underage access to vapor products at retail: 1) failure to check and verify I.D., and 2) legal-age individuals buying bulk quantities of age-restricted products to resell to minors. 

Over 50 retail chains, totaling more than 40,000 outlets, have already committed to being RACS-compliant. More than 7,000 of those stores are currently in the process of implementing RACS, and we expect more than 15,000 stores to implement by the end of 2019. By mid-2020, we expect that more than half of our sales volume will be through retailers who are RACS-compliant, and plan to stop distributing JUUL products to any retailer that isn’t RACS-certified by May 2021. A third-party auditor will monitor each certification to ensure compliance.

It is no small task to change retail systems and processes at tens of thousands of retail locations – it is expensive, complex, and could cause friction with legal-age customers. To expedite the adoption of these standards, we are providing over $100 million of incentives and financial support to retailers that implement RACS by May 2021. To increase ease of retailer certification, we have partnered with premier service providers to build and deploy technology integrations. However, some retailers will not meet the deadline for RACS compliance and will no longer be authorized to sell JUUL products. That’s a tradeoff we must make as we continue to combat youth use of JUUL products.

The initial list of retailers who have agreed to implement RACS is encouraging and demonstrates the commitment many retailers are willing to make to combat underage use. Some of the earliest adopters include leading retail partners throughout the country, including Chevron ExtraMile, Cumberland Farms, Kum & Go and QuikTrip.

Initial data verify the effectiveness of this automated technological solution. We piloted RACS with three retail partners across almost 200 individual retail stores. As part of this pilot, we conducted almost 2,000 secret shop visits to these locations and witnessed failure rates of less than one percent across pilot locations, on both age-verification and bulk-purchasing compliance. This compares with current FDA age-verification compliance failures for tobacco products ranging from low single digits up to 20 percent for these chains. RACS offers the entire retail industry an effective tool to materially reduce and potentially eliminate violation rates, and to reach our shared goal of 100 percent compliance for age-verification and bulk-purchase limits.  

While we work with our retailer partners to implement RACS, we have enhanced our already robust secret shopper program with significant consequences for non-compliant retailers. The new 3-Strikes-And-You’re-Out program will revoke retailers’ authorization to sell JUUL products for a minimum of one year and require RACS certification if they receive three age-verification or bulk-purchase violations within the same year. 

Six months ago, the majority of Americans under the age of 21 lived in places where their 18-year-old friends could legally buy JUUL products. Soon, the vast majority of Americans will live in places where JUUL products can be legally sold only to people 21+, and where no retailer can even sell JUUL products without scanning a valid 21+ I.D. Coupled with our enhanced online age-verification systems, RACS will dramatically limit youth access to our products. 

Track & Trace Expansion

Second, we are announcing the national rollout in the U.S. of our Track & Trace program for JUUL devices, which aims to trace confiscated JUUL devices through the distribution chain and identify the retail location where the product was sold. Once identified, our team will work with the retailer and take appropriate action.

We have piloted our Track & Trace program in the Houston area over the past 20 weeks, including a digital advertising awareness campaign to inform educators, school administrators, law enforcement, and parents on how they can help us locate the source of JUUL device sales to minors by entering the device serial number into our online portal. For devices that have been reported, we have already seen significant improvement in traceability.

We plan to build on our success in Houston by expanding the program nationally. As of today, approximately 50 percent of JUUL devices in the U.S. market are fully traceable, and we expect nearly 100 percent to be traceable within 90 days. Our dedicated team will monitor these submissions and track confiscated products. If we see that reported devices are consistently being sold from the same retailer, we will specifically target those stores with our secret shopper program.

A Shared Effort To Prevent Underage Use

Youth use of vapor products is detrimental to JUUL Labs’ mission, and to our business. Our target market is the one billion existing adult smokers globally, more than 70 percent of whom want to quit using combustible cigarettes (according to the CDC). Offering these adult smokers a real alternative to cigarettes is a public health and commercial opportunity of historic proportions, with over 7 million preventable deaths per year caused by cigarettes. Youth use puts this all at risk.

The steps we are announcing today are part of our ongoing effort to address this issue. In August of 2017, we banned online sales to anyone under the age of 21. In April of 2018, we announced our support for Tobacco 21 laws. In November of 2018, we announced an aggressive plan to address youth access, appeal, and use of JUUL products. We stopped selling non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners (more than 90,000), which represented 50 percent of our revenue at that time, and which we have no intention of re-introducing in retail stores at this time. Additionally, we enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shop visits per month, and shut down our U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms.

Today’s actions are a continuation of these efforts. However, we know that even these strong measures will not make this issue disappear overnight — youth vaping emerged over the course of several years and will take at least that long to address.

Like everyone, we are awaiting the release of the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey from the CDC. It is our expectation that this year’s survey, unfortunately, will likely show continued growth in youth use of vapor products in the U.S. If this turns out to be the case, it will be due in part to the fact that:

  • When this year’s NYTS data was collected, T21 laws were being passed in a dozen states but had not been implemented
  • Little to no category-wide actions have been taken as FDA is finalizing its guidance that, once implemented, should impose additional restrictions on the sale and marketing of certain flavored vapor products — actions that we voluntarily imposed on ourselves last November
  • Companies other than JUUL Labs have not altered their business practices, despite FDA’s policy proposals to restrict youth access and appeal of vapor products, including a massive proliferation of JUUL-compatible and counterfeit products from manufacturers who continue to sell flavored products clearly targeted at youth

In the coming months, it is our hope that Congress will make T21 the law nationwide. We believe that FDA’s draft guidance modifying its compliance policy for certain flavored vapor products, once finalized and enforced, will have a significant impact on restricting flavors, enhancing age-verification standards, and strengthening retailer compliance across the category. In addition, we know that increased enforcement against illegal counterfeit and compatible products, which are often made with unknown ingredients, under unknown quality standards, and with youth-appealing flavors and packaging, could make a real difference. Many of these products are offered for sale online without any age verification.

Through shared effort, we can significantly reduce youth access to, and use of, all vapor products, including JUUL products, while at the same time ensuring that adult smokers maintain access to a product that is helping millions of them switch from combustible cigarettes — a goal we all share.

RETAIL ACCESS CONTROL STANDARDS

Over the past several years, youth vaping in America has become a serious and urgent problem, and at JUUL Labs, we have no higher priority than combating youth use. As data has emerged about the scope of the youth vaping issue, we have taken a series of escalating steps. And today, we are implementing a series of new measures to combat the serious problem of youth access, appeal, and use of vapor products.

As JUUL Labs continues to lead the industry in youth prevention actions, we are partnering with retailers to implement RACS – the strictest age-verification system ever required for age-restricted products.”

Kevin Burns, CEO of JUUL Labs


The Industry’s Reaction To RACS

Retail Partners

ExtraMile

ExtraMile has roughly 892 convenience store locations in three states, including California, Oregon, and Washington.

ExtraMile Convenience Stores LLC is committed to the prevention of underage use and access to tobacco products. We look forward to working with JUUL Labs to explore the deployment of RACS at our franchisee locations and believe it will be an additional valuable resource combatting underage use and bulk purchases of age-restricted products.

Brian Mulcahy, Merchandising Manager, ExtraMile

Cumberland Farms

Cumberland Farms is a convenience store chain based in Westborough, Massachusetts and has almost 600 stores across eight states, employing over 6,000 people.

Cumberland Farms is fully committed to building upon our best in class age verification and compliance systems. We look forward to working with JUUL Labs to deploy RACS and believe this is another step in the right direction in using superior technology to restrict underage use and access of tobacco products.

Gwen Forman, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Cumberland Farms.

Kum & Go

Kum & Go is based out of West Des Moines, Iowa and operates roughly 400 convenience store locations across the Midwest, employing about 4,000 employees.

Kum & Go has and always will be committed to combating underage use of age verified products, and to the betterment of our customers’ lives and the communities we serve. Our values are aligned with JUUL’s and we are pleased to jointly develop methods, like RACS, to further these objectives in a more seamless, efficient, and effective manner.

Scott Keplinger, Vice President of Category Management for Kum & Go.

Trade Organizations:

Former President, Arab American Grocers’ Association:

Arab American Grocers’ Association is a local, San Francisco-based association of local community stores and grocers.

Local community stores and neighborhood businesses that sell vapor and other tobacco products must help prevent underage access. As former President of the Arab-American Grocers’ Association in San Francisco, I am pleased to work with JUUL Labs to adopt this new technology as part of our commitment to the community to prevent youth use of these products.

Conexxus:

Conexxus is a non-profit organization that defines industry standards for the convenience store and petroleum markets.

We support standards and technologically-based solutions that will restrict underage access, while providing a level playing field for responsible retailers. Collectively, we can work together to keep these products out of the hands of youth.


Point-of-Sale Providers

To increase ease of retailer certification, we have partnered with premier service providers to build and deploy technology integrations.

Shopkeep

ShopKeep is the point of sale system built by merchants for merchants. We were founded by a merchant, so we understand that simple, powerful solutions beat complicated, over-engineered options every time.

The ability to help independent businesses manage appropriate age and quantity based controls for certain products provides tremendous value to key segments of our customer base and the wider communities in which they operate. We are proud to partner with JUUL in providing their retailers with the robust tools and technology platform necessary to combat youth use of vapor products.

Mike DeSimone, Shopkeep CEO

Lightspeed

Lightspeed is a cloud-based commerce platform powering small and medium-sized businesses in approximately 100 countries around the world.

We support measures to restrict youth access to and use of age-restricted products, including vapor products. Lightspeed is proud to partner with JUUL Labs and retailers throughout the U.S to provide technology that will dramatically advance age verification as we know it.

Dax Dasilva, Founder and CEO of Lightspeed

FasTrax Solutions 

FasTrax Solutions is a software development/application service provider, specializing in Retail Point-of-Sale/Inventory Control, Warehouse Management, Digital Marketing, and Customer Loyalty/Reward Solutions. 

As a company with 10+ years of experience in point of sale technology, we understand the impact RACS will have for retailers selling restricted products. FasTrax Solutions is proud to team with JUUL labs and retailers across the US in supporting all measures to restrict youth access to age restricted products, including Vapor.

John Griffin, FasTrax VP Operations

NCR

NCR Corporation is a leading software- and services-led enterprise provider in the financial, retail, hospitality, small business and telecom and technology industries.

Verifone

Verifone is redefining convenience retail by enabling frictionless consumer experiences that go beyond just payments. Offering a unified customer experience, whether it’s self-service, at the pump, in store, via mobile or wherever your consumers take you, Verifone is leading the way to meaningful innovation and better customer journeys. 

Gilbarco

Gilbarco Veeder-Root is the worldwide technology leader for retail and commercial fueling operations offering the broadest range of integrated solutions from the forecourt to the convenience store and head office.

Clover

Clover is an integrated point-of-sale platform that combines stylish and functional hardware,  powerful business software, and payment processing to help merchants get paid and run their business better.


More information

If you are a retail partner, POS provider, or trade association, please visit www.racscompliance.org for more information.


Meet Rwhi: San Francisco Bodega Owner


How RACS Works

OUR ACTIONS TO COMBAT UNDERAGE USE

Over the past several years, youth vaping in America has become a serious and urgent problem, and at JUUL Labs, we have no higher priority than combating youth use. As data has emerged about the scope of the youth vaping issue, we have taken a series of escalating steps to combat youth access, appeal, and use of vapor products.

We must also acknowledge that continued growth in youth use demands further action. That brings us to the new measures we are announcing today:

Youth use of vapor products is detrimental to our mission, and to our business. Our target market is the one billion adult smokers globally, more than 70 percent of whom want to quit using combustible cigarettes (per CDC). Offering these adult smokers a real alternative to cigarettes is a public health and commercial opportunity of historic proportions, with over 7 million preventable deaths per year caused by cigarettes. Youth use puts this all at risk.

Through shared effort, we can significantly reduce youth access to, and usage of, all vapor products, including JUUL, while at the same time ensuring that adult smokers can access a product that is helping millions of them switch from combustible cigarettes – a goal we all share.

Op-ed in the Hartford Courant: We’re trying to fight youth vaping, not promote it

Excerpts from the op-ed:

We strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 legislation and, in November 2018, we stopped selling non-tobacco and non-menthol-based flavored JUULpods to traditional retail stores, which represented 50% of our revenue at that time. In addition, we enhanced our online age-verification, strengthened our retailer compliance by conducting over 2,000 secret shopper visits a month, shut down our Facebook and Instagram accounts and work constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others. We also continue to develop technologies to further restrict underage access with our retailer partners and distributors. These actions, however, have not been followed by others in the industry and by those selling counterfeit or compatible products.

We do not want or need non-nicotine users. Our market is the over 1 billion adult smokers worldwide who should have the opportunity to switch to vapor products if they so desire. We are seeing tremendous success so far. In a recent behavioral study undertaken by third-party researchers sponsored by the company, we have seen that nearly half of adult smokers who purchase and use JUUL products switch completely from smoking cigarettes within three months, with the rate of complete cigarette abstinence increasing over time.

We also believe our products are driving a historic reduction in the consumption of combustible cigarettes. As JUUL products have gained market share among adult smokers, cigarette sales have declined at an accelerating rate. In 2018, cigarette sales declined at an average of 5% year-over-year, the fastest rate of decline in a decade, according to IRI data which tracks retail sales. In 2019, IRI data show cigarette sales plummeting at more than 8% year-over-year through May. To put that in context, every 1% decrease in the smoking rate translates to 125 million packs of cigarettes that are never sold or smoked.

Read the entire op-ed here.

Our commitment to the PMTA process

We are fully committed to the current PMTA process and are confident in the content and quality of the materials we will submit with our application by May 2020. 

We are not appealing the recent federal court case in the District of Maryland and similarly do not support the recent lawsuit against FDA filed by the Vapor Technology Association in the Eastern District of Kentucky. 

While we have appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with the VTA, we will not renew our membership when it expires later this month as we are not aligned on too many critical policy issues. For example, we support clean Tobacco 21 legislation and an outright ban on certain flavors. 

JUUL Labs will continue to focus on combating youth usage of vapor products including JUUL while preserving the historic opportunity to switch adult smokers off of combustible cigarettes. 

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.

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.

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.