Category: Youth Prevention

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.

Underage vaping is a serious problem. JUUL Labs is committed to preventing underage use and has taken the most aggressive actions of anyone in the industry to proactively curb underage use.

Kevin Burns, CEO of JUUL Labs

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.

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

We applaud Governor Mike DeWine for raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in Ohio.

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 Ohio’s example.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why Raising The Tobacco Purchasing Age To 21 Is Critical To Fighting Youth Vaping

States and localities throughout the United States are increasingly enacting measures to raise the minimum-purchasing age for tobacco and vapor products to 21, and the positive impacts are undeniable. Today, The News Journal published an editorial from Courtney Snowden, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at JUUL Labs, commending Delaware for recently passing a law to raise the minimum-purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor, from 18 to 21, and highlighting why this policy is vital to any efforts aimed at curbing youth use of vapor products, including JUUL.

Key points from Courtney:

We believe Delaware took one of the most important steps in raising the legal purchase age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, from 18 to 21. This is crucial because it helps prevent high-school seniors and recent grads from purchasing tobacco products and sharing them with underage peers. This is currently how many youth users get access to these products. It’s why we endorsed ‘Tobacco 21’ back in 2018, and why we hope more states follow Delaware’s example.

JUUL Labs has taken the lead on this issue in our industry. We were on the ground at Legislative Hall in Dover actively supporting the Tobacco 21 legislation recently signed into law by Governor John Carney. We actively supported Tobacco 21 legislation in 15 new states so far this year, and we urge lawmakers in states without these age protections to follow suit.

Whether there’s a debate on Tobacco 21 at the federal, state, or local levels, we will be there offering our full support. We have already invested significant resources in educating policymakers, testifying before state legislatures, issuing statements of support and running ads in states pursuing this critical policy.

Read the full piece here.

JUUL Labs has pledged support to Tobacco 21 policies and our teams are actively working with lawmakers and health officials wherever legislation is being considered. As Courtney notes, Tobacco 21 laws are critical, as they directly address the largest access point youth have to tobacco and vapor products — peers of legal age. By using Tobacco 21 laws to undermine social sourcing through peers, we can ensure youths are never introduced to these products in the first place.

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.

STATEMENT REGARDING WALGREENS’ SUPPORT OF TOBACCO 21 POLICIES IN STORES NATIONWIDE

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

JUUL Labs commends Walgreens for taking this responsible step and urges other retailers to better restrict youth access. We have long supported Tobacco 21 policies, as they fight one of the largest contributors to youth usage – social sourcing through legal-age peers. 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.

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

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

We commend Governor John Carney for signing legislation to raise the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in Delaware, and would also like to recognize the instrumental leadership of Senator Bryan Townsend 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 Delaware’s example.

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

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

From Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs Chief Executive Officer

We commend Governor Pritzker for raising the purchasing age for all tobacco products, including vapor products, to 21 in Illinois and we especially thank Rep. Camille Lilly and Sen. Julie Morrison for their consistent leadership on this issue.

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 Illinois’ example.

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