Reynolds America Inc., maker of Camel and Newport cigarettes, is going after JUUL’s share of the vape market with inexpensive vapes, designer vape skins, and a marketing campaign that uses young adult models and musicians that appeal to young adults, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s a similar practice that got vape giant JUUL in hot water with federal regulators for targeting teens and creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.
Reynold’s Vuse vape devices are flying off store shelves in recent months. The tobacco giant has enticed vapers by selling its vaporizers for as little as 99 cents each, and launching television ads, buying billboard space, and flooding the social media market with ads. Now, the company is hiring musicians and artists for videos that show them designing special skins for their Vuse devices.
Reynolds claims the jump in sales of the Vuse is due to its quality, wide availability, and pricing. The brand has become second only to JUUL in vape sales after scoring an 83% spike in sales in the four weeks ending July 25 compared to the same four weeks last July when Reynolds first dropped the price of its vape pens to less than a dollar. Meanwhile, during the four weekends ending July 25, JUUL sales fell 29%.
JUUL still has about 22% of the vape market share, a drop from its heyday. But the company has struggled under pressure from federal regulators and lawsuits that have criticized the company for its use of flavored e-liquids and its advertisements using social media influencers popular with teens. Thanks to JUUL, teen vaping has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.
Last year, JUUL agreed to cease all print, broadcast and digital advertisements of its vapes. And in September, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, called on Reynolds and other vape companies to fall in step with JUUL in an effort to curb the rise in teen vaping. Reynolds obviously refused to comply. The company’s marketing tactics are also being investigated by the committee.
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Recognizing the critical threat to young people ensnared by nicotine addiction, and its effect on our nation’s educational system, our firm has also joined other nationally recognized law firms to represent school districts and public entities across the country in the fight to stop the school vaping crisis.