Although the vaping company Juul has experienced significant fallout – both in terms of market value and public opinion – since information about their marketing tactics came out in 2019, vaping has yet to see a meaningful decline among teens, which rose a staggering 78% between 2018 and 2019 according to the American Cancer Society.

Juul has been identified as a catalyst for much of the current teen vaping habit, but teens have moved on from Juul pods to other products. According to Meredith Berkman, co-founder of the advocacy group Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes (PAVE), “Juul is almost old school … It’s no longer the teen favorite.”


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Miley Cyrus. Bella Hadid. Sophie Turner. These are just a few celebrities who are known for their vaping habits. But these habits aren’t just a personal choice – they fit into a larger picture of vaping companies using celebrities and influencers to appeal to young consumers.

Although the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 places strict regulations on how tobacco products can be marketed, the vaping industry has raised questions about marketing in the digital era.


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Marketing to youth has long been part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to keep a steady influx of customers. However, since the Joe Camel lawsuit in 1997, tobacco companies have increasingly been under fire for targeting underage consumers. Most disavow these intentions, but from time to time, a company will draw attention to these kinds of tactics. Most recently, the vaping pioneer, JUUL, has been pinpointed.

Despite assertions that they had never marketed their products to children or teenagers, a recent New York Times article reports that JUUL purchased ad space on youth-centered websites like Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network, Seventeen magazine, and educational sites for students as young as middle school.


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Amidst growing lawsuits and a call for a ban of vaping by the American Medical Association, journalists from the LA Times have reviewed over 3,000 internal records from leading vape company Juul and discovered that their proprietary formula was based on 40-year old nicotine research pioneered by R.J. Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel cigarettes.

Scrutiny of the popular vaping brand has been increasing. Since 2018, Juul has been the subject of concerns from numerous research and regulatory bodies regarding their claims to offer a less addictive alternative to cigarettes. Most notable include a warning letter from the FDA stating that the company violated federal regulations because it hadn’t secured federal approval to promote and sell its products as a healthier option. According to the FDA letter, Juul’s claims include referring to its products as “99% safer than cigarettes, “much safer” than cigarettes, “totally safe,” and “a safer alternative than smoking cigarettes.”


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Siddharth Breja, former SVP of Finance at Juul, filed a multi-claim lawsuit against the company alleging that Juul sold contaminated liquid pods with total disregard for the “law, public safety, and public health.” Breja claims Juul sold 1 million of the mint-flavored, contaminated pods, as well as pods that were expired or nearly expired. He also claims he was fired as a whistleblower for warning against the “illegal” activity. The claims include:

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To date, the CDC has reported over 1200 cases of rapid onset “Vape Lung” disease, including over 26 deaths. While the exact cause is not yet identified, all cases are linked vaping.

The outbreak inspired several states to institute restrictive bans on the sale of e-cigarettes, including a full ban by Massachusetts (recently overturned by the courts).

It is important to keep focused on those being injured by vape products during this interminable FDA paralysis period.


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While the FDA continues to do nothing to protect consumers from the health risks associated with vaping, the States of America are exercising their independent powers to protect their residents. Their actions are in response to the CDC’s recent report of over 1200 cases of rapid-onset lung disease caused by vaping, including over 26 deaths. The youngest victim was a 17-year-old boy in New York.

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On October 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1080 cases of Vape Lung Disease, including 18 deaths. Many of these cases, some claim up to 80%, are suspected to be related to cannabis vaping products. Just like the nicotine e-cigarette industry, the liquids and chemicals in cannabis vape products are not regulated. Some health organizations suggest that the chemicals in vaping liquids combined with unknown chemicals added to cannabis products may be at the heart of the increase in illnesses in cannabis users. Others attribute the disease to e-cigarette/vape product designs that use high heat levels to “vape” liquids. The high heat vaping process creates unusual chemical reactions that may cause damage to lungs. In terms of cannabis products, it’s likely a double-whammy because the cannabis industry has historically operated in illegal settings with zero oversight and a fair number of bad actors, i.e., people who grow or lace products with unknown chemicals.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that over 1,000 people became ill from vaping e-cigarettes, including 18 deaths. Now, research by the Mayo Clinic of Arizona suggests the lung damage may be the result of chemical burns.

The CDC announced that 77% of the injured vapers were using e-cigarettes with tobacco and THC products, and 17% were using only nicotine. The CDC partnered with state-based health care services and research hospitals to try to determine the cause of the recent spike in vaping lung damage cases.


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If you were surprised to hear that Juul’s CEO, Kevin Burns, publicly told people not to vape or use his products, you were not alone. It is quite rare for a company to recommend against supporting its profit margins. This is especially true for a company that has been under intense scrutiny for predatory marketing practices and a link to the meteoric rise of teen e-cigarette use. It begs the question, “Why?” Why is Juul so suddenly changing its spots? Could Juul truly and authentically have morphed into an ambassador of health and wellness?

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