June 13, 2018

so where's all this publicity about teen 'juulers' coming from?

We're a bit confused here.  The results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) came in and it showed that 11.7 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes.  Seeing that this is the first survey since the teen juuling controversy began, WHERE DOES ALL THIS NEGATIVE PUBLICITY COME FROM?!

We're reasonable people - maybe a 0.4 percent increase since the survey was released in 2016 is a just cause for concern - SAID NOBODY EVER.

Despite this minor increase, teen vaping is actually down from its previous 15 percent in 2015.  As teen smoking continues to decline, with just 7.6 percent of high school students having smoked a cigarette (possibly as little as one puff) in the last 30 days, a small drop from 8 percent in 2016.  The 2017 result represents more than a 50 percent decline from 2011 where it was at 15.8 percent.

Even the Attorney General mentions that vaping is down, which would lead us back to our main question: How many "JUUL-era" youth vapers are actually vaping regularly, and how many are just taking a hit from a friend's JUUL once in a while?"

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb used the opportunity to repeat some statements he's made many times before about teen vaping.  No child should use nicotine, FDA is working to make tobacco products less appealing, they're "studying" the role of flavors, investigating the popularity of JUUL, etc. "And while there was no change in e-cigarette use from 2016 to 2017 among high school-aged teens, it's too soon to tell whether this represents a leveling off, following a steep decline from 2015 to 2016.  But this bears watching," said Gottlieb.

A CDC press release on the matter stated "Tobacco prevention and control strategies at national, state and local levels - including tobacco product price increases, comprehensive smoke-free policies, media campaigns warning about the risks of youth tobacco product use, and youth access restrictions - like contributed to the reductions in tobacco product use."  Following the type of predictable literary tone regulatory agencies in the United States, there was, of course, no mention of vaping as a main driver of the teen smoking decline.

So how will anti-vaping groups explain the new evidence that their JUUL-driven crusade against our industry is actually backed by absolute nonsense?  Vaping360 published an editorial about the Truth Initiative's survey that pushes the idea that teen juulers simply don't understand that JUUL is an e-cigarette or that juuling is vaping.

According to the survey, anti-vaping groups such as Truth and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids argues that "it attracts new and very young consumers, who would never ever vape or smoke...but are helplessly drawn to the JUUL, and are so infatuated by the brand that they've made it into a verb: juuling - which also prevents them from understanding that they are vaping."

Before we jump into the lunacy of the article, we just want to say: Huh?  Do you really think our nation's youth is really that stupid to not be able to discern the act of inhaling vapor into your lungs is NOT vaping?  Now you're spending millions of tax dollars on a negative education campaign to try to curb the issue?  OKAY government.  You're right on the money here!

The Truth Initiative claims that JUUL is "surging in popularity among young people."  The CDC data says that's not true.  At best, JUUL may be replacing existing vapor products among teens.

"The tobacco industry doesn't care about teen vapers -- or adult smokers."

Meanwhile, JUUL Labs launched its promised "educational" campaign to illustrate its concern about teen use of its product.  Aptly labelled JUUL Facts, the effort features a massive headline stating to all "IF YOU DON'T SMOKE OR VAPE, DON'T START."

What JUUL is doing to essentially play ball with regulators is just about as good of a strategy as any other brand within the industry.  BLVK Unicorn for instance takes a stance on the impending regulations and has drafted a new policy for its resellers.  You can read the full approach here.

Whether you're in the vape industry or not, the real solution to this issue in the eyes of regulators and anti-vaping activists alike is for the business to well, simply go out of business.  The tobacco control industry doesn't care about teen vapers -- or adult smokers for that matter.  It cares about its own survival and any product that disrupts the aligned interests of cigarette manufacturers will ultimately be a target until its sold to a compliant tobacco company, or dead.


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