Constantly bombarded by criticism from federal agencies, JUUL Labs vowed to go above and beyond to help curb the rising tide of teenage vaping.
The biggest vaping company in the U.S., JUUL went as so far as announcing it would self-police its products and rat out retail stores who prove to be habitual offenders at selling to minors. On numerous occasions, officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blamed JUUL’s early marketing tactics targeted teenagers, creating an “epidemic.”
“We are as committed as ever to combating youth usage,” the company said in a press release. “But don’t take our word for it — look at our actions.”
The over-the-top policing gesture proves JUUL, which owns more than 70 percent of the U.S. market, is serious about showing the feds and the public it can right its wrongs and shield teens from their products. At least on a public relations level.
On the fringe of JUUL’s long-term growth strategy, a corps of lobbyists dutifully spread the company’s philosophy of providing smokers a safer alternative to quitting traditional cigarettes.
JUUL employs more than 80 lobbyists in all 50 states. Among their responsibilities, the influencers combat legislative measures aimed at banning flavored products and add a voice against provisions to strengthen local vaping bans.
“JUUL is attempting to rehabilitate its public image by posing as a public health advocate while working behind the scenes to weaken or defeat tobacco control proposals and prevent communities from even considering policies to curb tobacco use,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown told The New York Times.
Refuting all accusations of marketing to minors over the past five-plus years, JUUL officials made public its moves last November, disconnecting certain social media platforms, fortifying online age identification software and pulling certain “fruity” pods from store shelves.
JUUL was hoping the feds and the public would see the sincerity in its motives.
But, as The New York Times reported, JUUL has lobbyists embedded in firms connected with former high elected officials and influential donors.
As it continues to grow its presence in the U.S. and Great Britain, JUUL is making sure its political flanks are protected.
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