JUUL Labs wants its critics to know.
The fast-rising e-cigarette startup is doing what it can to keep its products out of the hands – and lungs – of minors. The San Francisco-based company will allocate millions of dollars to ensure critics are aware that it promises to do more in the near future, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Founded in 2017 and recently valued at $15 billion, JUUL reportedly owns more than 70 percent of the U.S. e-cigarette market. As the industry leader, JUUL Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould admitted early marketing efforts were ineffective in deflecting minors from indulging their products.
“We acknowledge kids are using the products,” Gould said at a company function last spring.
The corporate mantra remains JUUL’s products help adult smokers wean themselves from nicotine-based cigarettes. The company’s critics look to high-school students as their core of concern over the industry.
Gould addressed the topic.
“We’re committed to stopping (underaged smoking),” she said.
As fast as JUUL blazes additional market share, its legal troubles appear to mount in tow. San Francisco voters in June approved a city-wide flavor ban, legislation that was followed in at least four other communities. No fewer than four lawsuits have been filed, claiming JUUL’s products caused the plaintiffs to develop a nicotine habit. Anti-tobacco groups seem to be growing like weeds.
JUUL’s executives are being proactive. And they are investing in their future.
The JUUL Labs response includes $30 million to discourage teenage users and the company hired a new team of secret shoppers to ensure retailers are not selling to minors. They have engaged in speaking events and is designing its vapes to better monitor usage. In October, JUUL will begin releasing Bluetooth-connected devices in foreign markets that will allow individuals attempting to quit combustible cigarettes to better track their nicotine intake, while locking out devices in places like schools.
JUUL is under attack on many fronts.
The JUUL Labs response let’s their critics know they recognize the concerns and are working to address the problem like a responsible company.
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