retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times has a story saying that, while vaping company Juul has sought to distance itself from the traditional tobacco business, saying that it "has its roots in Silicon Valley, not in fields of tobacco," the facts say something different.

According to the story, "A review by the Los Angeles Times of more than 3,000 pages of internal Juul records, obtained by the Food and Drug Administration and released to a researcher through the Freedom of Information Act, found that the concept behind the formula that makes Juul so palatable and addictive dates back more than four decades" to the laboratories of RJ Reynolds.

The Times goes on: "Juul’s salts contain up to three times the amount of nicotine found in previous e-cigarettes. They use softening chemicals to allow people to take deeper drags without vomiting or burning their throats. And they were developed based on research conducted by the tobacco companies Juul claimed to be leaving behind."

Some context from the Times:

"In multiple conversations with The Times, Juul did not directly address assertions that the company embraced the very industry it sought to dismantle. A spokesperson for Juul acknowledged that the product intentionally 'mimicked' the nicotine experience of a traditional cigarette, but explained that the formula was designed that way in order to satisfy the cravings of adult smokers, not children.

“'We never designed our product to appeal to youth and do not want any non-nicotine users to try our products,' a spokesperson for Juul said in a statement to The Times. 'We are working to urgently address underage use of vapor products, including Juul products, and earn the trust of regulators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.'

"After extensive lobbying by the vaping industry and its allies, President Trump this month missed the deadline he set to ban vaping flavors, despite mounting public complaints over their attractiveness to teenagers, and it’s now unclear whether the administration will take any action. On Monday, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and Los Angeles officials announced a lawsuit against Juul, alleging it engaged in deceptive practices with kid-friendly advertising and a failure to issue health warnings." (New York State has filed a similar lawsuit, and North Carolina filed one earlier this year.)

The Times concludes that despite all Juul's protestations, "a new generation of nicotine addicts has already been established, and health experts warn that millions of teenagers who currently vape could ultimately turn to other products like cigarettes for their fix."
KC's View:

Forgive me for the language, but these people really, really irritate me. The lies they tell seem strikingly similar to the lies told by tobacco executives for decades. You can tell these people are lying because their lips are moving.

To paraphrase William Shakespeare, methinks they doth protest too much.

To see how much, click here.