(Sept. 26, 2019) Juul will stop advertising, and the company plans to fire its CEO, according to an Associated Press report yesterday. The announcement comes as leading government health officials say underage vaping has reached epidemic levels.
Juul Labs announced Sept. 25, 2019 that it will no longer promote its e-cigarettes in print, digital, or television advertisements. Juul also said it will replace its CEO. The actions come in response to a growing, nationwide backlash against vaping. At least 10 young people are reported to have died from the “convenient” practice, and more than 500 have sought professional medical help for vaping-related injuries. Vapers have reported strokes, damaged lungs, and other serious injuries, in addition to the life-crippling problems of nicotine addiction enabled by e-cigarettes.
Juul Lobbying won’t challenge Trump’s Proposed Ban
Juul – the country’s most profitable e-cigarette company – also said yesterday that it would not lobby against a sweeping ban on vaping flavors proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration earlier in September 2019.
New Juul CEO Ex-Marlboro Man
Juul announced that CEO Kevin Burns will be replaced by a senior executive from Marlboro cigarette-maker Atria, which paid $13 billion in December 2018 for a 35% stake in Juul. Altria Group Inc. said K.C. Crosthwaite, who served as Altria’s “chief growth officer,” will become JUUL’s new CEO.
The changes come amid growing public concern over vaping. An angry backlash has triggered calls for tighter federal- and state-restrictions on the nicotine-sucking habit. Earlier this week, the state of Massachusetts proposed banning all vaping products for four months.
Juul and hundreds of smaller e-cigarette companies are now under fire nationwide. The companies, with their slick advertising campaigns targeting underage people – much like the sly Joe Camel campaign did a while ago – are being blamed for two public health problems linked to vaping. One is a mysterious lung illness that has afflicted hundreds of people so far. The second is an alarming increase in teenagers’ becoming nicotine junkies through the too-convenient use of e-cigarettes.
Hundreds of Vaping Injuries as ¼ of H.S. Students Vape
Public health officials are investigating hundreds of cases of the mysterious breathing ailment linked with vaping. They have not yet identified any one product or ingredient as causing the problem. Meanwhile, underage vaping has reached epidemic levels, according to government health officials. Recent research shows that more than 1 in 4 high school students used e-cigarettes in the last month.
Cigarette Company Merger Aborts, Wal-mart blinks
Most likely as a result of the volatility of the current vaping situation, tobacco giants Altria and Philip Morris International said they were calling off discussions of a merger. The merger abortion comes exactly one month after the two had announced their plans to merge.
In other bad news for e-cigarette makers, Walmart has just announced that it plans to cease its e-cigarette sales.
Juul Rules E-Cigarette Market
Juul moved to the top of the multi-billion-dollar e-cigarette market by combining slick marketing campaigns with high-nicotine pods and sweet dessert and fruity flavors. The San Francisco-based company now controls 70% of the U.S. e-cigarette market.
Juul has tried to curtail a crackdown on its products since 2018 by taking several voluntary steps. Juul ceased selling several flavors in retail stores and shut down its social media presence. But the company failed to correct its flagging public image fast enough. Parents, politicians, and public health advocates have continued to push for a broader crackdown against e-cigarette makers.
Juul now faces several investigations from Congress, from several federal agencies, and from state attorneys general.
Juul Lawsuit Filings
Juul also faces a growing list of lawsuits from young people injured by the company’s e-cigarettes. Plaintiffs ‘s lawyers have noted the problem and are vowing to take action to take the company to task. Lawsuits focus on Juul’s failure to warn users of the dangers of nicotine addiction, and failure to warn to warn users of the health dangers that e-cigarettes pose.