They suddenly became concerned that teenagers were addicted to electronic cigarettes.
Startup Juul launched in the US in 2015 and was one of the first to sell electronic cigarettes and replacement cartridges with different flavors of their own design. Within three years, the company grew into a large business, which investors estimated at 15 billion dollars.
In 2018, the startup accounted for almost 70% of the US electronic cigarette market, which is estimated at $ 1.9 billion. The company began to expand actively and in the near future plans to enter the European markets, as well as to Russia .
Electronic cigarettes Juul – oblong tube, similar to a flash drive. The device is praised in the first place for its simplicity: to smoke, you do not need to press any buttons – it’s enough just to start breathing in the steam.
Because of the ease of use and relative cheapness (starting kit will cost $ 50) Juul is very popular with American students. However, the company’s electronic cigarettes contain no less nicotine than regular cigarettes, and cause addiction in adolescents: several parents have already applied for a startup in court.
Juul did not deal with the problem, saying that she was producing electronic cigarettes for adult smokers. However, after the media wrote about the lawsuits, the company was drawn to the attention of the Massachusetts Prosecutor’s Office. Attorney General of the State of Mora Healy (Maura Healey) initiated an investigation into the startup, to find out whether the company was targeting adolescents, thinking through advertising.
Juul Labs controls two-thirds of the market for electronic cigarettes and too much of their products are in the hands of young people and in schools.
Healy said that she wants to find out whether the company follows the fact that its products are popular with teens and how it solves the problem of “uncontrolled” use of electronic cigarettes among schoolchildren. To do this, the prosecutor’s office teamed up with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which in April 2018 asked Juul for information on products and marketing.
The Prosecutor General suggested that the company could specifically focus on young people in the advertising strategy. In her opinion, this is indicated by “sweet tastes” and the ability to customize the wipe with different stickers.
Juul does not exist to stop adults from smoking cigarettes, but in order for children to start smoking electronic. That’s what these companies are doing. They make an effort to get their children addicted and get customers who will be with the company for the rest of their lives.
However, as noted by The Verge, sweet aromas – an industrial phenomenon and Juul are not the only ones that use it, but stickers are made by third parties.
The Prosecutor General cited several advertising posters, with the help of which the company promoted products in 2015. According to her, in her Juul appeals “directly to the youth”.
In Juul, they said they were “pleased” to work with the Attorney General of Massachusetts. According to the representative of the company Matt David (Matt David), the manufacturer has never aimed at minors and on the whole almost did not advertise his product.
Advertising, which led to the example of Healy, is also indicated in the lawsuits ofsome Juul customers. One of the plaintiffs is the mother, whose son started using the device when he was 15 years old. According to her, because of this, he “was deeply attracted to nicotine, distorting his brain physically and chemically, and was at risk of early death and health problems.”
Experts agree with this statement: as the head of pediatric studies from Massachusetts Hospital Jonathan Winickoff noted, the teenagers brain is more susceptible to nicotine and sooner gets used to it even in low concentrations. According to him, the earlier a teenager starts to smoke ordinary cigarettes or electronic cigarettes with nicotine, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the bad habit.
Healy began to warn schools about the dangers of cooperation with Juul, after the company began offering preventive programs for teachers. During the speech of the Prosecutor General, the pupil of Watertown High School, Shariel Joseph, was invited to the stage, who stated that she wanted to try electronic cigarettes because of the smell from their use by other students. According to her, current schoolchildren will lend a wap rather than a pen.