WASHINGTON, D.C. — Juul says that it will continue running its “Make the Switch” ad campaign even as the president and members of Congress, along with public health agencies, threaten to ban some of its products. CNBC reported that President Trump announced he would like to see a ban on all flavored vaping products except tobacco flavored, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to Juul’s CEO expressing consternation about the message Juul’s “Make the Switch” marketing scheme was sending to people who wanted to quit smoking cigarettes. Juul defiantly said it would press on with its ads. The company has purchased advertisement time on television and declared that the company would not pull the ads in spite of the vaping illness epidemic facing the nation.
Juul’s “Make the Switch” slogan implores people to use e-cigarettes to wean themselves off of tobacco products. The ad campaign strongly implies that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes even though the FDA has never verified that claim. Consequently, Juul cannot make that claim overtly. Instead, the ads subtly suggest that Juul is safer than smoking by featuring people who have successfully stopped smoking cigarettes because they used Juul instead.
Millions of teenagers are hooked on vaping according to recent studies. Experts believe that teens use vaping products because of the variety of flavors companies like Juul offer. Vaping products are available in fruit flavors along with traditional tobacco, mint, and menthol flavors which are seductive to children. Additionally, Juul has marketed its products directly to high schoolers and the Native American population to capture these demographics as “vapers” rather than smokers.
Some public health experts interviewed by CNBC claim that Juul has been careful enough with the language it uses in its advertisements to possibly ward off any legal attacks by the FDA or the Federal Trade Commission for false or misleading advertising.
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