Several committee members said Juul’s initiatives appeared similar to past efforts by the tobacco industry to reach young people under the guise of smoking prevention programs. Gould said Juul, which is 35 percent owned by Marlboro maker Altria Group IncU.S. lawmakers grill e-cigarette maker Juul over efforts targeted at schoolchildren | Physician’s Weekly
, halted its program last year once it became aware of the tobacco industry’s past moves.
While the rest of the country was distracted by more high-profile goings on in the US capital, House lawmakers were busy raking Juul over the virtual coals.
At issue were the company’s involvement in anti-smoking efforts aimed at school children. While the company argues its efforts were to prevent underage use of its products, lawmakers on the oversight subcommittee found monsters.
The lawmakers release a cache of internal company emails. The emails detailed the company’s community outreach efforts and donations to community programs.
During a great deal of grandstanding that always accompanies these sort of witch hunts, the congresspeople drew stark comparisons between Big Tobacco tactics of years past and Juul’s attempt to focus its market on millennial smokers.
The Thursday hearing was actually the second hearing on Juul and its role as movie bad guy to childhood innocence. On Wendsday a couple of high school kids testified that Juul sent representatives to their school to encourage them to not vape while also saying vaping is safe.
Ok, that one is kind of a misstep. While it’s true vaping is much safer than smoking, vaping companies are prohibited from actually truthfully saying that by law. And, honestly the optics aren’t great. Perhaps Juul isn’t helping themselves with some of their past missteps.
And if Juul makes itself look bad, as the leading vapor company it also makes the rest of the industry look bad.