San Francisco Mayor London Breed officially signed the ban on e-cigarette sales within city limits. The City is set to implement the ordinance within approximately 7 months. Juul, which claims more than 70% of the e-cigarette market, is trying to fight the City with a ballot initiative to roll back the new rule. Juul and other e-cigarette proponents claim the new ordinance will hurt local businesses and force people back to smoking traditional cigarettes.
BMJ’s journal, Tobacco Control, just released a study recommending that the FDA do more to control Juul’s e-cigarette advertising in social media. The study included review of over 15000 posts in a three-month period during 2018. Approximately 30% of reviewed posts were promotional, e.g., leading to Juul purchase locations, and over half the posts included “youth” and “youth lifestyle” themes. Because many of these posts were re-posts or user-generated, rather than ads specifically placed by Juul, the company protested that 99% were third-party content over which Juul had no control. However, the intended goal for social media advertising is to “share” and to inspire creation of third-party user-generated content that is also shared. Juul’s public comments weirdly suggest they don’t understand social media advertising. That is quite unlikely.
On the heels of San Francisco announcing a full ban on sales of e-cigarettes, the State of Vermont announced its own plan for e-cigarette control — a 92% tax. The bill, supported by Gov. Phil Scott, has passed the house and now moves on to the Senate for approval. The state predicts the increased price will decrease purchases by underage users.
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, has jumped on the judicial bandwagon for investigations into e-cigarette powerhouse, Juul. Krishnamoorthi’s request to Juul included asking for documents related to its partnerships in the cannabis industry.
San Francisco made a bold move this week, voting to ban the sale and delivery of Juul and other e-cigarettes in its city. The mayor of San Francisco is expected to sign the proposed ban, which would then take effect in 2020. San Francisco is the first city in the U.S. to embrace serious regulation of e-cigarettes, which has been compared to the Big Tobacco regulation fights of the not-so-distant past.
Just like the traditional tobacco industry, Juul has started to issue grants to study the effects of e-cigarettes on users. Back in the bad, old tobacco days, almost all research was funded by tobacco companies through the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) and the Center for Indoor Air Research (CIAR). Both companies were included in fraud cases against the industry. After a settlement in 1998, the tobacco industry started funding private groups. Much of that funding was undisclosed in study results, suggesting there might be a conflict of interest.
So…is Juul, a company heavily funded by big tobacco, the same? Or is this highly successful, private interest, for-profit company an altruistic anomaly?
An analysis by the National Safety Council revealed that in 2017, for the first time in history, Americans are more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than a car crash.
In the midst of an opioid epidemic, the odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose (1 in 96) officially surpassed the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash (1 in 103), and falling (1 in 144). It is now the leading cause of death from a preventable injury.
In some cases, these deaths are the result of medical providers overprescribing or failing to properly monitor the prescribed opioids, making them preventable. Even as the government implements policies to curb the overprescribing of opioids, the death toll keeps rising. According to the report, there are 466 lives lost each day from an accidental opioid overdose.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to an accidental overdose of an opioid that you feel was improperly prescribed, you should consult an experienced attorney. Stark & Stark’s Personal Injury team can give you a free evaluation of the case.
In a time when most companies are moving sales to the internet, Juul is apparently exploring opening brick and mortar stores to sell its controversial e-cigarette products. Valued at approximately $38 billion (since investment from big tobacco company, Altria), Juul can afford to test new distribution outlets. The first launches are rumored to open in Texas and South Korea.
Juul, the “cool” e-cigarette manufacturer, is facing a class action lawsuit alleging practices that mirror those of the traditional tobacco industry. The suit alleges Juul purposely designed a highly addictive product, concealed the addictive nature of the product, and lured teen users with advertising similar to the type banned for the tobacco industry. San Francisco U.S. District Judge William Orrick III approved the case to go forward to court.
So far, 2019 has been a good year for first responders in New Jersey.