Popular vape manufacturer JUUL targeted its marketing campaigns to lure high schoolers and Native American tribes, a Congressional committee investigating the company’s role in fueling a national youth vaping epidemic found.
“In just eight months, the investigation has fundamentally altered the e-cigarette landscape for the better,” the House Committee on Economic and Consumer Policy said in a 46-page memo detailing JUUL’s response to some 60 questions that spanned from where the company sourced its nicotine to how many states it lobbied in to promote and protect sales of its products.
JUUL has ruled the vape market since 2016 and, in that time, vaping has soared in popularity, especially among youth. The company came under fire for using flavored e-liquids and social media influencers to lure young users. In November JUUL, under pressure from Congress and government agencies, agreed to stop selling flavored vapes. Two months later, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a ban on all flavors of e-liquids except for tobacco and menthol flavors, as well as stricter oversight of vape companies’ marketing to protect youth from the dangers of vaping.
But the Congressional committee’s investigation revealed that JUUL not only didn’t stop selling flavored vapes and continued to market its products to youth outside the U.S., it also targeted tribal governments more than previously known. For example, JUUL visited eight tribal governments from December 2018 to February 2019, offering them $50 starter packs for $5 to give to smokers enrolled in a switching program for free. No data was ever collected on the program.
Furthermore, JUUL acknowledged that its products aren’t designed to help cigarette smokers kick the habit, but rather trade their cigarette addiction for a vape addiction. After all, many of JUUL’s products contain more nicotine than cigarettes.
“JUUL’s business strategy relies on keeping users addicted to nicotine,” the memo said.
Since the launch of the Congressional investigation, JUUL’s valuation has tanked from a whopping $38 billion in 2018 to about $12 billion.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett are handling cases involving injuries related to vaping. We are looking at cases involving adolescent addiction and injuries including seizures, strokes, lung problems, and cardiovascular problems related to the use of JUUL vaping devices.