Concerned over the ongoing youth electronic cigarette epidemic, congressmen have asked for clarification and documents from the electronic cigarette company JUUL. The Committee of Oversight and Reform of the United States House of Representatives have conveyed their intentions of knowing more about JUUL’s intention, proof of clinical trials and partnership documents with any cannabis related company. In a letter sent on 7th June 2019, the chairman of the committee Raja Krishnamoorthi sought answers from the e-cigarette company following news of its ties with budding cannabis companies.
JUUL has been successful in taking over the electronic cigarette market in the states with its idea of combustible cigarette cessation, attracting flavors and high nicotine content which has captivated half of the youth of the current generation. Reports say that the nicotine content in JUUL’s e-cigarette cartridges in about 5 % by weight. This is far higher than European standards.
Their marketing campaign also attracts a lot of today’s youth and many become very addicted to these. Many parents have reported about their teenaged children getting too much addicted to these e-cigarettes. According to statistics reported by the Centre For Disease Prevention and Control, there has been an increase of about 78% in tobacco use among teenagers and youth from 2017 to 2018.
In 2017 JUUL broke off from Pax Labs, which was an electronic cannabis vaporizer company. Though JUUL has no official leads on collaborating with a cannabis company, many lawmakers speculate the probability of this soon.
Following an investigation conducted by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy on this epidemic use of JUUL’s e-cigarette, the company is liable to produce relevant reports by 21 June 2019.
In Krishnamoorthi’s letter to JUUL, the company is asked to produce all memorandums, and communication documents which refer or relate to proposals, and intended partnerships or collaborations with any cannabis company.
Concerning its partnership with Cronos group, a global cannabis company, all information about its relationships has been interrogated.
The Congressional committee has also sought information on JUUL’s marketing strategy impacts on persons under 18 years of age. All audience analytics statistical information on social media websites with respect to their advertising and marketing campaigns online under #vapourized were asked for.
The committee has also asked for any all kind of partnership information with Altria, Japan Tobacco International, Fidelity Investments, British American Tobacco, Capital Gropu, Goldman Sachs, and other groups.
Regarding the 2 million USD bonus deal with the Altria group, the committee has asked for all relevant documents including non-disclosure ones which their employees had signed as conditions for bonus receipt.
With the growing trend of cannabis smoking, a merger between tobacco companies and cannabis companies is no big deal. However, this would a controversial topic as many speculate the takeover of the tobacco industry by the cannabis industry.
Given the opportunity to the tobacco farmers, to make up for their tobacco losses, cannabis cultivation is an alternative. Hence it would be no surprise if the cannabis industry overpowers the tobacco industry.