The manufacturer of the top selling electronic cigarette in the U.S. is launching a campaign they claim is aimed at “combating underage use” of vapor products.
JUUL Labs announced Wednesday they will begin an advertising campaign intended to educate children, teens and parents about the dangers nicotine products pose to youths. The public service effort will include radio spots, as well as print and digital advertisements titled, “What Parents Need to Know About JUUL,” reports The Washington Times.
The PSA messages will appear in “select markets,” thought it is unclear which regions of the country representatives of JUUL Labs have in mind. The campaign, which begins in June and is expected to run through September, is part of the company’s previously announced $30 million investment into independent research to study the “scientific and societal implications of vapor products.” (RELATED: FDA Commissioner Warns Vaping Companies To ‘Step Up Soon’ Or Face A Crackdown)
“This campaign further builds on our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and combat teenage use, and we believe providing transparent and factual information to parents will help keep JUUL out of the hands of young people,” JUUL CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement Wednesday. “While we remain steadfast in our commitment to helping adult smokers who want to switch from combustible cigarettes, we also want to be part of the solution in deterring minors from ever trying JUUL.”
JUUL Labs first announced in April the planned investment of $30 million over the next three years as part of its effort to keep the products away from youths. They are currently working with Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa and a group of public health officials to develop a “transparent” framework for conducting independent research.
JUUL will also back legislation raising the minimum purchasing age on tobacco and nicotine products to 21, although industry experts note this will do little to address access for youths, who typically get the products through a third-party like a parent or sibling.
The campaign comes as the Food and Drug Administration appears determined to crack down on vaping companies. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, speaking at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago Saturday, said he has been “disappointed” with the response from the vaping industry since the agency began seeking public input on nicotine flavors in March.
He said vapor companies “better step up and step up soon.”
Harm-reduction experts say an FDA intervention into flavored products risks upending the vapor industry and hurting smokers who have successfully quit with e-cigarettes.
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