WASHINGTON, D.C. — Juul Labs canceled its “Make the Switch” ad campaign which targets smokers looking to quit to switch to using e-cigarettes. The slogan implies that using e-cigarette products is safer than smoking and is an effective method of quitting tobacco. The USA Today said Juul’s exiting chief executive officer apologized for the lung disease epidemic sweeping the nation. Juul Labs replaced its CEO with an executive from Altria Group. Altria Group is a cigarette manufacturer in the U.S. and owns about a 35% stake in Juul Labs. Juul Labs also vowed to not lobby against any bans of flavored e-cigarette products enacted by the Trump Administration.
Vaping is a substantial health problem facing this country. The Associated Press reported that 1 out of every 4 teenagers in the U.S. “vapes.” Consequently, some health advocates see aggressive action taken by states like Massachusetts, which banned all vaping products, Michigan, Rhode Island, and New York, which have banned flavored vaping products.
Some health advocates cry foul. They say that the federal government should step in and ban flavored e-cigarettes because the companies that make them market them toward kids. As a result, they see Juul Labs’ defensive moves as an effort to repair a highly tarnished public image rather than a step toward protecting children.
The former commissioner of the FDA believes pushing to ban flavored e-cigarettes in an attempt to cure lung illnesses is misguided because they are separate issues. The former commissioner said that an outright ban could push teens into the black market for vaping products, which is highly dangerous and could increase the number of deaths and illnesses attributable to vaping.
Juul has pulled its social media presence and canceled advertising. The company said it would not lobby against any federal ban of flavored vaping products and throws its complete support behind any regulatory ruling banning flavored vaping products.
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