Tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds blames JUUL Labs for the nation’s perceived teenager vaping “epidemic.”
In an effort to deny the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) effort to limit the purchases of “fruity” flavors by minors at retail stores, Reynolds contended the FDA’s proposal should be altered to focus on JUUL, according to cnbc.com.
The nation’s biggest vaping company, JUUL became so important to the youth culture over the past five-plus years, the term JUUL-ing was quickly coined.
In a press release, Reynolds explained why the San Francisco-based startup should take more responsibility for the rapid rise in teen vaping, referred to as an “epidemic” by several politicians.
“(The) FDA has already identified the main driver of youth interest: (JUUL),” the company said. “As the agency’s public statements confirm, underage users disproportionately prefer (JUUL) to all other products.
“Armed with such knowledge, we believe the agency can take appropriately tailored steps to curb youth use.”
A University of Michigan study, which interviewed more than 44,000 teens, indicated about 37 percent of high school seniors vaped last year, compared to 28 percent in 2017.
The results alarmed the study’s director, Dr. Richard Miech.
“Vaping is reversing hard-fought declines in the number of adolescents who use nicotine,” Miech said.
A subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT), Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., produces Newport cigarettes and Vuse vape products. Lagging behind Altria, it ranks as the nation’s second-largest tobacco company.
The main reason that Reynolds blames JUUL is based on the company’s early marketing tactics, which included sexy models, cnbc.com reported.
In response, JUUL as switched its advertising campaigns to feature more mature adults, mostly ex-smokers of traditional cigarettes providing testimony on how switching to e-cigarettes helped them to quit and remain more healthy.
But was the change too late?
For Reynolds it was.
In time, we will see how the FDA handles Reynolds’ blame-game.
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