web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "E-Cigarettes"

Juul Says Its Focus Was Smokers, but It Targeted Young Nonsmokers

SAN FRANCISCO — In the face of mounting investigations, subpoenas and lawsuits, Juul Labs has insisted that it never marketed or knowingly sold its trendy e-cigarettes and flavored nicotine pods to teenagers.

As youth vaping soared and “juuling” became a high school craze, the company’s top executives have stood firm in their assertion that Juul’s mission has always been to give adult smokers a safer alternative to cigarettes, which play a role in the deaths of 480,000 people in the United States each year.

“We never wanted any non-nicotine user and certainly nobody underage to ever use Juul products,” James Monsees, a co-founder of the company, testified at a congressional hearing in July.

But in reality, the company was never just about helping adult smokers, according to interviews with former executives, employees and investors, along with reviews of legal filings and social media archives.

Juul’s remarkable rise to resurrect and dominate the e-cigarette business came after it began targeting consumers in their 20s and early 30s, a generation with historically low smoking rates, in a furious effort to reward investors and capture market share before the government tightened regulations on vaping.

As recently as 2017, as evidence grew that high school students were flocking to its sleek devices and flavored nicotine pods, the company refused to sign a pledge not to market to teenagers as part of a lawsuit settlement. It wasn’t until the summer of 2018, when the Food and Drug Administration required it to do so, that the company put a nicotine warning label on its packaging.

Though some former employees recalled Mr. Monsees wearing a T-shirt at the office that used an expletive to refer to Big Tobacco, the start-up’s early pitches to potential investors listed selling the business to a big tobacco company as one of the potential ways to cash out.

These and other previously unreported decisions would plant the seeds for a public health crisis in which a new generation is becoming hooked on nicotine and that has raised questions about the future of e-cigarettes in the United States and Juul’s ability to stay in business.

In the fall of 2015, only a few months after the company’s newfangled vaping device, called the Juul, came on the market, investors, including the mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments, were already impatient for progress, according to former executives.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00ECIGARETTES-founders-articleLarge Juul Says Its Focus Was Smokers, but It Targeted Young Nonsmokers Youth your-feed-healthcare Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Nicotine Juul Labs Inc Japan Tobacco James Monsees Food and Drug Administration E-Cigarettes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Altria Group Inc Advertising and Marketing Addiction (Psychology) Adam Bowen

Juul Labs’s co-founders, Adam Bowen, left, and James Monsees at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco in May 2018.Credit…Jason Henry for The New York Times

“They had yet to see the fruits of their investment, given what the opportunity was, and it was unclear for how long vaping was going to be lightly regulated,” said Scott Dunlap, the chief operating officer at the time. “They were excited and pushing hard.”

Fidelity declined to comment.

The Juul, which looked unlike any other e-cigarette and delivered a far more powerful nicotine punch, was supposed to be the hit product for the company, then named Pax Labs, but a few months in, it appeared to be a bust. Convenience stores and vape shops were not getting their orders because of supply chain problems. Manufacturing defects left some customers with bad batteries, or worse, a condition nicknamed JIM — juice in mouth — with no one at the company quite sure how much of the toxic nicotine substance could be safely ingested.

In a meeting in San Francisco in the fall of 2015, the board of directors decided to remove Mr. Monsees as chief executive, dismiss other senior leaders and effectively take over the company. It would be 10 months before they named another C.E.O.

“I was in that first meeting where you tell the board, ‘We aren’t going to hit the numbers. There are issues; there are problems in the supply chain.’ Not a lot of good news,” said Mr. Dunlap, who said he had advised the company to slow down and take the time needed to fix the problems. He was fired the next day.

The board meeting, which has not been previously reported, was a turning point for the company.

Over the next few years, the company — which became Juul Labs after splitting from Pax in 2017 — would reignite the stale e-cigarette business, grabbing more than 75 percent of the vaping market and tallying more than $1 billion in sales in 2018. At the end of last year, it was valued at $38 billion, more than the Ford Motor Company.

From 2016 to 2018, the years Juul’s growth became astronomical, the number of adult nonsmokers who began using e-cigarettes doubled in the United States, according to an analysis of federal survey data by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. The study estimates that six million adults were introduced to nicotine via e-cigarettes.

During that time, millions of high school and middle school students began vaping, according to federal health surveys. More than five million youths — one in four American high school students and one in 10 middle school students — now vape, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint report this summer. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that impedes the developing brain, and many teenagers have struggled to quit.

From the beginning, there was plenty of evidence of teenage use on social media that should have been apparent to a company that had made social media the core of its marketing strategy. A sampling of tweets from Juul’s first 18 months of sales showed that juuling had quickly become a fad among high school students, long before the company acknowledged that there was a problem.

“petition to make our school mascot a juul,” said one tweet in December 2015.

“horizon highschool, where every1 is juuling in the bathroom,” said another in January 2016.

“HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY, LEXI T!!! I hope ur day is filled with juuling & just having the best day ever!” said a tweet in October 2016.

There was also evidence from employees’ own lives. In 2016, some salespeople inside Juul passed around a photo taken by a colleague’s teenage son of a picture of a Juul drawn on a bathroom stall at his high school with the word “Juul” scrawled beside it.

Juul declined to make Mr. Monsees — who stayed at the company after being removed from the C.E.O. job — or any other executives available for this article.

The company says it is refocusing on its core mission. It has recently taken steps to keep its products away from teenagers, including stopping sales of most of its flavors; halting all broadcast, print and digital advertising; and offering $100 million in incentives for retailers to adopt a new electronic age-verification system intended to curb illegal sales to minors. This month it announced it would discontinue its mint flavor, which a new study showed had become its most popular among teenagers.

“We fully understand the need to earn back the trust of regulators, policymakers, key stakeholders and society at large and reset our company and the vapor category,” said Joshua Raffel, a spokesman who joined Juul in October 2018 after working as a deputy communications director in the Trump White House.

The story of Juul began more than a decade ago when two smokers, Mr. Monsees and Adam Bowen, became friends over cigarette breaks as graduate students in design at Stanford. During those chats, they came up with an idea for their final thesis, a design for an e-cigarette that would give smokers the nicotine they craved but without the cancer-causing substances that come from burning tobacco. They called it Ploom, and two years later, in 2007, they started a company by the same name.

Ralph Eschenbach, an early investor through the firm Sand Hill Angels, recalled Ploom’s pitch as being fairly simple: “They said they wanted to build a cigarette that would be a lot less dangerous to smokers and could be enjoyable.”

But, Mr. Eschenbach said, there was a major hurdle in going after that demographic: F.D.A. restrictions prevented Ploom from claiming its product was safer than cigarettes.

So the company was eying another potential market as well, he said: young millennials who were occasional smokers and might be drawn to a luxe, sleekly-designed tech product that they could carry while bar hopping on a Saturday night.

Other investors jumped on board, most notably Nicholas J. Pritzker, a member of the wealthy Chicago family that once owned the chewing tobacco giant Conwood before it was sold to Reynolds American. Mr. Pritzker had focused on the family’s holdings in real estate and the Hyatt hotel chain. Calls and emails to Mr. Pritzker’s investment firm were not returned.

When it was released in 2010, the Ploom Model One Vaporizer was shaped like an oversize pen. After a couple of years, it became clear that it wasn’t going to catch on. The biggest complaint? Not enough nicotine.

Kurt Sonderegger, who was Ploom’s head of marketing, would tape two of the devices together to try to get a satisfying hit, he said, but “I still needed to go out and smoke a cigarette.”

In early 2015, the company sold the Ploom brand to the industry it had ostensibly been taking on. Japan Tobacco International, a cigarette company, had bought a minority stake in Ploom in 2011 with a plan to market the device abroad, and in early 2015, it acquired the rights to the brand. Ploom executives renamed their company Pax Labs, for the pricey Pax Vaporizer that they had introduced in 2012. That device was quickly gaining a following among cannabis users as more states legalized marijuana.

But the company wasn’t abandoning e-cigarettes. On the contrary, it had a breakthrough. It had discovered a way to substantially increase the nicotine levels in a new product, named Juul.

It was this breakthrough that would make the Juul so addictive to teenagers and people who had never smoked.

But just before the debut, in an interview published by The Verge in April 2015, Ari Atkins, an engineer who had worked on the team developing the Juul, said: “We don’t think a lot about addiction here because we’re not trying to design a cessation product at all.”

He added, according to the article, “Anything about health is not on our mind.” The article noted that his colleagues in the interview winced.

What made the Juul a game-changer in the e-cigarette industry was not just the cool design, which immediately drew comparisons to the iPhone. It was the power and smoothness of its nicotine hit.

In 2013, Chenyue Xing, a young chemical engineer, was working at MAP Pharmaceuticals in California developing medications that could be inhaled, when she got a call from a Pax recruiter. The idea of working on a project to reduce health risks to smokers appealed to her.

“I was working in products that were treatments for sickness and illnesses,” Dr. Xing said. “I was intrigued at the idea of working on the preventative side.”

Mr. Bowen, the co-founder, had sketched out the concept for a new formulation of the pods for the company’s e-cigarettes, one that would use nicotine salts.

Nicotine salts are not exactly like the crystalline salt in a shaker on the dinner table. In chemistry, a “salt” is the substance produced from the reaction of an acid with a base. Nicotine salts exist naturally in tobacco, which means they are in all cigarettes.

But e-cigarettes at the time were using freebase nicotine, which is extracted from tobacco. The problem with freebase nicotine liquid is that it has a high alkalinity, which makes it harsh for consumers. Many smokers who tried e-cigarettes wound up with sore throats or coughs.

For manufacturers, that harshness increased with higher nicotine levels, so most e-cigarettes had only 1 or 2 percent nicotine. A few came in at 3 percent.

Dr. Xing and other researchers at Pax were able to develop a formulation that allowed the company’s Juul pods to have a nicotine level of 5 percent, the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes. They had worked through different formulations before landing on one that combined freebase nicotine with benzoic acid (the patent covers a range of acids) that set off a chemical reaction, producing a nicotine salt liquid that reduced the harshness and allowed a higher rate of nicotine.

The result was “a much better experience for smokers” compared with earlier e-cigarettes, Dr. Xing said. “One that would make them more willing to switch over from smoking to e-cigarettes.”

Mr. Dunlap, the chief marketing officer at the time, saw the immense promise. “When I first tried the Juul prototype, the nicotine hit was immediate, within seconds. No e-cig had ever come close to this,” he said. “The design was also unique — the shape, the glowing light, the crackling sound, the thick vapor. It was a multisensory experience. This was the first vaping product that actually had a shot at switching an existing smoker.”

The high level of nicotine also appealed to skeptical retailers. In the summer of 2014, the year before Juul’s debut, the sales teams had run into resistance from stores who were stuck with other e-cigarette inventory that simply was not selling. But by focusing on the chemistry behind Juul, and its delivery of nicotine levels that were close to combustible cigarettes, two former sales executives said, they persuaded convenience store chains like 7-Eleven and Circle K to order the new product.

The nicotine experience was the key to attracting smokers to any e-cigarette, but mention of nicotine was only in tiny, hard-to-read letters in the print ads for Juul’s initial marketing campaign.

In June of 2015, the campaign, called Vaporized, introduced the Juul with glitzy parties and events that stretched from San Francisco to Miami and New York, and ads and social media posts featuring young women in midriff-baring tops holding the sleek metal device.

Even some employees were confused. Three members of the company’s sales force recalled being puzzled: If this was a product targeting smokers, why not market where the smokers were, say, NASCAR races, which had long been sponsored by tobacco companies? Why was the campaign so youthful?

The ads for Juul showed up in Vice magazine, at pop-up “Juul Bars” at concerts that offered free samples of the product, on a bright billboard display that loomed over Times Square, and in a social media blitz. A lawsuit filed this month by the state of California against the company said that Juul directed “brand ambassadors” to look for “people who fit the JUUL demographic” such as “smokers, cool kids, fun people, etc.”

The company began hiring consultants to identify social media influencers with large followings on Instagram and Twitter to promote Juul. It pushed hashtags like #juul and #vaporized that the influencers used while showing images of themselves or other young people doing tricks with the device.

Mr. Dunlap, the chief operating officer at the time, noticed strikingly young users right away, in the wave of social media posts that followed the marketing events.

“There were hundreds of activation events, and it was in seeing the photos and social usage that followed that I would catch myself saying, ‘Wow, they look really young’,” he said. “But you don’t really know. It’s social media after all, where everyone is their younger, idealized selves. All you know is that you are seeing the early signs of a viral brand taking off.”

Two former executives, one from marketing and one from sales, said in interviews that the thinking inside the company was that by showing young and hip people using Juul, they would also draw in older smokers who imagined themselves as, well, young and hip.

Bailey Legacki was one of the high school students drawn in by the Vaporized campaign and she is now weighing a lawsuit against Juul.

She began using Juul during the 2015-16 school year, she said, as a 15-year-old in South Florida. “It was everywhere,” she recalled. “Everyone had one.”

Ms. Legacki, now 18, said she was influenced by her friends but also by the ubiquitous advertisements and social media posts on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

“They were young people and it looked like they were having fun,” she said. “Or, it would just be the device that was shown, but not really explaining anything about it, just, ‘Try this.’”

She said she did not realize there was nicotine in the pods. Mr. Raffel, the Juul spokesman, confirmed that in the early days the packaging mentioned nicotine only in tiny type in the ingredients list and did not have the warning labels it does now.

Ms. Legacki said she has now scaled back her vaping but has not been able to quit. “If I knew it had nicotine at all, I wouldn’t have done it,” she said. “Now I’m so reliant on something I had no intention of doing. I knew what cigarettes do. This Juul was new and nobody knew what the Juul did.”

She is considering suing the company. Her lawyer, Jeffrey L. Haberman of Schlesinger Law Offices in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said the case will claim that Juul was made “to create and sustain nicotine addiction.”

Juul declined to comment on her experience.

Employees were also noticing orders made with clearly fake IDs. In 2017, orders were coming in weekly that all used an Arizona driver’s license for a man from Phoenix named Jelani Sample, according to an employee brought in to upgrade the age verification system. (It was actually a sample of the new driver’s license the state had posted online.)

The flagged orders were not filled, the employee said. But they were a sign teenagers were trying to buy Juuls.

There were also orders coming in for 10 Juul starter kits at a time, a tip-off to some employees that Juuls were being purchased either for resale or to be given to youths.

But the company continued to push its presence on social media, and in 2017, with sales soaring, the company and Mr. Bowen, the co-founder, filed a patent for a vaping device with a feature that seemed aimed at younger users. It was a gaming mode, so people could play Simon Says or Cat and Mouse on the device. It also had a “party” mode with lights and music clips. (It was never made, however.)

That same year the company was in talks to settle a lawsuit brought by the Center for Environmental Health, a nonprofit in California. The group had tested e-cigarettes and nicotine liquids made by Juul and over a dozen other companies and found levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen created when e-cigarettes containing certain chemicals are heated, that exceeded the California limit. The organization had sued the manufacturers to force them to lower formaldehyde levels, and to add a warning label noting the presence of a cancer-causing ingredient.

But in settling the cases, the environmental group saw an opportunity to do something more. “We wanted to go beyond just the cancer warning,” its lawyer, Mark Todzo, said. “At the time, there were reports coming out about the teen vaping rates that were just starting to be reported on.”

Mr. Todzo said the group added a provision into the settlement to require the e-cigarette companies to agree not to market to youths. Documents show that it was signed by EonSmoke, Vapor4Life, International Vapor Group and others — but not by Juul.

Juul declined to sign and opted instead to pay an additional penalty, based on its sales for 2015 — just $2,500.

Mr. Raffel, the Juul spokesman, did not dispute the account, but said the company had no further comment.

Finally, last month, Juul signed.

In the summer of 2018, a group of former attorneys general and public health experts got on a call with Juul executives, including then-chief executive Kevin Burns, to advise them how to stop teenagers from getting Juuls.

The call, which has not previously been reported, did not go well, especially when Grant Woods, the former attorney general for Arizona, who had worked on the master settlement with tobacco companies in the 1990s, told Mr. Burns to dump the company’s flavored nicotine pods because of their appeal to youths.

“They just refused to do it,” said Mr. Woods, who dropped out of the advisory group after the initial call, convinced that the company was insincere. “I said on the call, ‘I would sue you.’”

Mr. Woods said the Juul C.E.O., Mr. Burns, took the position “that they were not marketing to minors, and so the flavoring wasn’t an issue.” Mr. Burns declined to comment on the phone call.

Mr. Burn’s recalcitrance in the face of growing pressure would soon be on display again in the company’s weekly executive meeting in September 2018, after the F.D.A. seized thousands of pages of documents from the company’s San Francisco headquarters, a former executive said.

“Kevin Burns said, ‘Do not give me anything in writing if it is sensitive, anything the F.D.A. could get,’” recalled the former executive, who was at the meeting but asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “He said, ‘Pick up the phone and call me if you have to.’”

In a statement emailed to The New York Times, Mr. Burns said, “That is a mischaracterization of a meeting where I was clear that our employees should fully cooperate with any regulatory authority and that I expected them to bring any concerns to me directly to make sure important issues were addressed promptly and with no room for misinterpretation.”

Now Juul is facing an ever growing pile of lawsuits from parents, school districts, counties and states, including two new ones filed this month by California and New York. In addition to the F.D.A., the Federal Trade Commission, the United States attorney’s office in Northern California and several states are investigating the company.

And it is still waiting for federal health officials to completely clear its devices and nicotine pods from the mysterious vaping-related illness that emerged this summer, making almost 2,300 people seriously ill and killing 47 others. Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the likely culprit is THC vaping liquids, which Juul does not sell, that include vitamin E acetate, but cautioned that health investigators had not exonerated nicotine products.

All of this means that the F.D.A. is likely to make it very challenging for Juul to obtain the necessary clearance to stay on the market, according to two former F.D.A. commissioners: David Kessler, who served in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations; and Scott Gottlieb, who ran the agency for President Trump until resigning this spring.

Juul’s application is due in May, and the F.D.A. must decide whether the products are appropriate for the protection of public health. The agency will weigh the number of people likely to become addicted to nicotine via Juul, against the number who might use it to quit combustible cigarettes, and will also assess the safety of the products.

In early 2017, the tobacco giant Altria, maker of Marlboro cigarettes, reached out to Juul, and in the spring of that year the two began confidential discussions in earnest, according to documents obtained from Altria by Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois.

It would take 20 months to work out, but on Dec. 20 of last year, Altria announced it would pay $12.8 billion in cash for a 35 percent stake in Juul. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the vast majority of the cash went into executives and investors’ pockets. Less than $1 billion was required to stay on the company’s books.

Under the terms of the deal, Altria said it would use its vast distribution channels to sell Juul products and, after four years, Altria would be allowed to make a takeover offer for Juul Labs.

Some employees were unsettled by the fact that they were now in business with Big Tobacco. And regulators? They were irate.

The F.D.A. was blindsided by Juul’s deal with Altria, and it further strained the relationship between the agency, including its commissioner, Dr. Gottlieb, and both companies.

The F.D.A. had initially been supportive of e-cigarettes, and Dr. Gottlieb had served on the board of Kure, a chain of vaping lounges, when he was tapped to run the agency. In July 2017, a few months after taking office, Dr. Gottlieb made a much criticized decision to push back by four years the deadline for Juul and other e-cigarette companies to submit applications to stay on the market.

Juul contended it had a virtuous health mission, but by fall of 2018, the F.D.A. was no longer buying it. In October, Altria had agreed to stop selling its own e-cigarette products, after acknowledging that they were driving the youth vaping problem. The notion that Altria would now help Juul expand its market infuriated Dr. Gottlieb.

He summoned executives from Juul and Altria to his office in March of this year, for what several people who were there (and not authorized to speak publicly on the matter) described as a tense, unpleasant meeting with him, his chief of staff, Lauren Silvis, and the head of the agency’s tobacco division, Mitchell Zeller. When news about their difficult meeting leaked out, Altria’s stock fell 2.5 percent.

According to several people present, Dr. Gottlieb condemned Juul’s lobbying of Congress and the White House. “We have taken your meetings, returned your calls and I had personally met with you more times than I met with any other regulated company, and yet you still tried to go around us to the Hill and White House and undermine our public health efforts,” he said angrily, according to three people who were there. “I was trying to curb the illegal use by kids of your product and you are fighting me on it.”

In September, Juul’s ties to Altria further strengthened when Mr. Burns resigned under pressure, and the board replaced him with an Altria executive, K.C. Crosthwaite. A former president and chief executive of Philip Morris USA, Mr. Crosthwaite has spent his entire career in the tobacco industry.

Juul’s future now rests with Big Tobacco, the industry its founders said they were trying to vanquish.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China’s Vaping Boom Alarms the Government

Westlake Legal Group 00chinavaping-1-facebookJumbo China’s Vaping Boom Alarms the Government vaping Smoking and Tobacco Shenzhen (China) Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Politics and Government Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes China

Models in tight dresses and high heels lounged in a yellow inflatable pool filled with plush toys and vaping equipment. Enthusiastic vapers lined up for free pens and pods, as clouds of mango, mint and rose mingled with the electronic dance music in the air.

Attendees of the Shanghai eCig Expo had a lot to celebrate. Vaping has surged in China, drawing money from domestic and Western investors alike. In a country with nearly as many smokers as the entire United States population, the growth potential seemed limitless.

“This,” said Frank Wang, an aspiring entrepreneur who wanted to open his own vaping shop, “is where you can make money now.”

Perhaps not anymore.

China has joined the United States and other governments in putting new pressure on vaping. Regulators have banned online sales of vaping products, and China’s major propaganda outlets have heaped on scrutiny, citing the potential health effects. The government is considering banning vaping in public places.

Beijing’s crackdown threatens an almost exclusively Chinese industry that had been counting on the country as a haven. Ninety percent of the world’s e-cigarettes are made in China, and most of them are produced in Shenzhen, a southern city that borders Hong Kong. Some of the nation’s top e-cigarette brands, including RELX, FLOW and Yooz, have taken hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding from high-profile names like Sequoia China, IDG Capital and Matrix Partners China. The firms did not respond to requests for comment.

The new scrutiny adds to the troubles for Chinese e-cigarette exporters, already hammered by the vaping-related health crisis in the United States that has sickened at least 2,200 people and killed 47.

While exporters have long dominated China’s e-cigarette industry, the domestic market took off only about three years ago. Of the ten million e-cigarette users in China, most are young people who vape sleek, brightly colored devices with flavors like chilled strawberry and orange soda.

Euromonitor, the global market research consultancy, said China’s e-cigarette market was worth $750.4 million in 2018, nearly triple the 2014 value. China has more than 300 million smokers, out of a population of nearly 1.4 billion. In the United States, 10.8 million adults vape.

Juul Labs, which is under fire in the United States for marketing its e-cigarettes to teenagers and children, wanted to cash in too. But just days after starting business in China, its products were removed from Alibaba and JD.com, two of the biggest e-commerce platforms. Neither the government nor the company gave any explanation. Juul had paid to be at the e-cigarette fair in Shanghai starting in late October but withdrew at the last minute because of the crisis in the United States, according to Li Wangfeng, project director of the expo.

Concerns are mounting about the hazards of vaping among the young, prompting many Chinese to call for regulations. A 2018 tobacco survey commissioned by China’s Center for Disease Control found that people 15 to 24 years old were the most avid vapers, with most buying their devices online.

In recent weeks, the state news media has kept up its drumbeat of negative coverage of the industry. On Nov. 4, the most-read article on the website of People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, noted that most e-cigarette companies continued selling their products online despite the ban. The next day, China’s state broadcaster, China Central Television, showed Beijing officials summoning companies to comply with the ban. The day after that, e-cigarettes were no longer available on Alibaba’s Taobao and JD.com, two of China’s most popular e-commerce platforms.

For years, the Chinese government allowed the lucrative e-cigarette industry to thrive with no supervision. There was never any consensus on whether e-cigarettes should be classified as tobacco, health or electronics products and which agency should regulate them. Part of the problem, too, is that China’s top tobacco authority is both a regulator and producer of cigarettes.

In an industry with low barriers to entry, manufacturers took advantage of this void. According to Tianyancha, a corporate database in China, the country has more than 9,500 e-cigarette companies.

Many of these brands have haphazard quality controls that have resulted in knockoffs, unsafe ingredients and vape liquid leakage, but the authorities have rarely policed these companies. In March, CCTV said eight e-cigarette companies made vaping oils with nicotine levels that were higher than what the package stated.

Alarmed by these reports, the government is set to force producers to comply with standards on ingredients and manufacturing, according to a draft viewed by The New York Times.

Once the “national standard” is enacted, companies would be required to provide details on the number and dosage of ingredients, put warnings on packages, and devise ways of testing e-cigarettes to ensure compliance.

The process would increase production costs, industry experts say, and is likely to put many small e-cigarette exporters out of business.

But Ou Junbiao, head of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Committee of China trade group, said he welcomed the rules because they would give him clear guidelines. He said that previously many companies like his never dared to sell in China for fear of running afoul of the government.

“Once the national standard comes out, I can follow its targets and make big investments,” said Mr. Ou, a former factory worker and owner of Sigelei, one of China’s top e-cigarette exporters to the United States, in his office in Shenzhen. “I won’t have to worry that something will happen but now I don’t know which day the sword would fall.”

E-cigarette executives in China were unanimous in attributing the vaping-related illnesses in the United States to the use of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and vitamin E acetate. The majority of the American victims had vaped THC, but some say only nicotine was involved.

In Shenzhen, several vaping manufacturers have laid off workers, according to two labor recruiters.

At the Shanghai expo, Chen Lin, a sales manager for a company that produces parts of e-cigarette atomizers, said his company’s sales fell 80 percent in the past month.

“We basically have no orders coming in this month after what happened in the United States,” said Mr. Chen, who came to the expo to look for business partners.

Within China, RELX has become the dominant seller of e-cigarettes and controls 44.4 percent of the market for closed vaping systems, e-cigarette pens that come filled, according to data from Euromonitor. It has nearly $286 million in financing, according to its founder, Kate Wang, from major venture capital firms like Sequoia China.

Ms. Wang started RELX in 2017, after testing 20 e-cigarettes in the Chinese market and discovering they did not meet her expectations. She said she was motivated to help her two-pack-a-day father quit smoking.

Jiang Xingtao, whose title is “director of flavors” at RELX, said that while vaping was safer than smoking tobacco, the jury was still out on whether it is definitively safe.

He is collecting data in RELX’s lab in Shenzhen to determine the risks and wants to run clinical trials, singling out the flavoring ingredients.

“We can guarantee that they are safe to be consumed through the stomachs, but is it safe enough to be absorbed through the lungs?” Mr. Jiang said. “To be honest, in this respect, neither we nor the industry has evidence that is particularly solid.”

Yiwei Wang contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON — It was a swift and bold reaction to a growing public health crisis affecting teenagers. Seated in the Oval Office in September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise.

“We can’t have our kids be so affected,” Mr. Trump said. The first lady, Melania Trump, who rarely involves herself publicly with policy announcements in the White House, was there, too. “She’s got a son,” Mr. Trump noted, referring to their teenager, Barron. “She feels very strongly about it.”

But two months later, under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters, Mr. Trump has resisted moving forward with any action on vaping, while saying he still wants to study the issue.

Even a watered-down ban on flavored e-cigarettes that exempted menthol, which was widely expected, appears to have been set aside, for now.

On a flight on Nov. 4, while traveling to a political rally in Kentucky, Mr. Trump was swayed by the advisers who warned him of political repercussions to any sweeping restrictions. Reviewing talking points on the ban aboard the plane with advisers, Mr. Trump decided to cancel the administration’s rollout of an announcement, which included a news conference that Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, was planning to hold on the issue the next day. Instead, another meeting was proposed.

The discussion aboard the Nov. 4 flight was first reported by The Washington Post.

White House officials pushing for action were still holding out hope that there would be an announcement of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, with an exemption for menthol, last week.

The proposed ban had gathered significant support this fall, as the crisis over teenage vaping, with year-over-year increases, coincided with a sprawling outbreak of severe lung injuries. While most of the illnesses, now affecting more than 2,000 people and causing more than 40 deaths, have been attributed to vaping THC products, the e-cigarette industry also became the target of criticism for luring minors into using its products.

A lack of federal action prompted several states to try to institute bans on flavored e-cigarettes, spurring the vaping and tobacco industries to mount legal challenges and lobby lawmakers and the White House against regulatory restrictions that would impede adult e-smokers.

Juul Labs, the largest seller of e-cigarettes in the country and the target of several federal investigations, had taken most of its flavors off the market in anticipation of a national flavor ban. The company had said that its mint-flavored pods made up about 70 percent of its sales; menthol was 10 percent; and two tobacco flavors accounted for 20 percent. But many other look-alikes, in flavors like chai and melon, have sprung up to fill the void left by Juul’s actions.

Mr. Trump has since decided to follow the advice of political advisers to stall on the issue and meet with more groups.

On Nov. 11, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would be “meeting with representatives of the vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the vaping and E-cigarette dilemma.”

The announcement on Twitter took West Wing advisers by surprise, and one senior official said no meeting had been scheduled. One adviser who spoke to Mr. Trump recently said the president was simply overwhelmed by other issues, including the televised impeachment hearings that began last week, distracting him from deciding what the administration should do about restricting e-cigarette flavors.

But he is concerned about his chances in 2020, and allies working for the vaping industry have told Mr. Trump of battleground state polling of his own voters that showed the issue costing him support.

One such poll was commissioned by John McLaughlin, one of the Trump campaign pollsters, for the Vapor Technology Association. The poll, which surveyed battleground state voters who vape, showed negative results for Mr. Trump if he went ahead with a ban, and was passed around to a number of people in Mr. Trump’s circle, including Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, and senior White House officials.

Tony Abboud, the executive director of the group that commissioned the poll that has helped influence the president, said they were encouraged by “what appears to be a move in the right direction for adult smokers and their families.”

“Bans don’t work,” he said. “They never have.”

Mr. Trump has also been under an intense lobbying campaign over the past seven weeks, waged by tobacco and vaping companies, along with conservative organizations, like Americans for Tax Reform, which are opposed to regulatory limits that would affect retailers, small businesses and adult consumers of e-cigarettes. Some have promoted enforcing sales restrictions to protect minors, or raising the national age to 21 for sales of all tobacco products.

The trajectory of the flavor ban — from a bold pronouncement of swift action to a fizzle after the political realities of taking such an action emerge — is similar to Mr. Trump’s stance on gun legislation. Months after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio, when Mr. Trump said he wanted to pass “very meaningful background checks,” warnings from gun rights advocates and Republican lawmakers about the political fallout that would result from doing that ultimately led to no action on the issue.

Inside the White House, the flavor ban has also become a proxy issue for how his advisers see Mr. Trump’s path to re-election. In one camp are those who believe he should try to win back suburban women, including mothers of teenagers who would presumably worry about their children becoming addicted to nicotine. In the other are those who advise him to assume that voting bloc would not favor him anyway and to focus only on energizing his base.

Mr. Parscale had flagged to Mr. Trump after he first announced his intention to ban most flavored e-cigarettes that it would hurt him with his base. Mr. Parscale and other advisers warned Mr. Trump to slow down, and announce he was going to take time studying the issue, telling him that a ban could depress turnout in critical states.

Those political concerns were not without merit: E-cigarette users have held protests outside the White House and outside Trump rallies that they may have attended under other circumstances. Protesters have also raised concerns about the potential closing of thousands of vape shops, which they said would hurt the economy and cost jobs across the country.

But it is not clear whether pro-vaping activists are one-issue voters.

While some advice to Mr. Trump was grounded in polling, some was based on a gut-level understanding of Trump voters: Taking away the right to smoke or vape would be something akin to taking away firearms.

In the opposing camp is Kellyanne Conway, a top White House adviser and Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, who has been telling colleagues and the president that it is a mistake to assume, as Mr. Parscale and others have done, that suburban moms who care deeply about a public health crisis for teenagers have deserted Mr. Trump for good.

Those advisers, including Mr. Azar, have been pushing the administration to address the issue, as parents and schools as well as public health experts have grown increasingly concerned about the rise in teenage vaping. Mr. Azar had told the president that about more than one-fourth of high school students reported vaping e-cigarettes within the previous 30 days, according to this year’s survey of tobacco use among youths.

Recent Vaping Regulations

Several states have announced e-cigarette bans in response to recent vaping illnesses and deaths. More maps and charts.

Westlake Legal Group regs-335 Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-335-map Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

Westlake Legal Group regs-600 Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-600-map Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

San Francisco

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

Westlake Legal Group regs-800 Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-800-map Trump Retreats From Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

San Francisco

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

By The New York Times

Last September, Mr. Azar said the proposed ban would include mint and menthol because those two flavors appeared to be popular with teenagers, especially once e-cigarette companies responded to criticism of appealing to young people and began pulling fruit and dessert varieties, like mango, from shelves.

But those who had opposed a flavor ban — especially against menthol — found ammunition in the results of a recently released national survey of high school students, which showed that very few preferred menthol. Most said they chose fruit or mint as their favorite flavors of e-cigarettes.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump, who at first expressed interest in the ban as a mother of a teenage son, did not respond to a request for comment about whether she was still invested in the issue.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON — It was a swift and bold reaction to a growing public health crisis affecting teenagers. Seated in the Oval Office in September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise.

“We can’t have our kids be so affected,” Mr. Trump said. The first lady, Melania Trump, who rarely involves herself publicly with policy announcements in the White House, was there, too. “She’s got a son,” Mr. Trump noted, referring to their teenager, Barron. “She feels very strongly about it.”

But two months later, under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters, Mr. Trump has resisted moving forward with any action on vaping, while saying he still wants to study the issue.

Even a watered-down ban on flavored e-cigarettes that exempted menthol, which was widely expected, appears to have been set aside, for now.

On a flight on Nov. 4, while traveling to a political rally in Kentucky, Mr. Trump was swayed by the advisers who warned him of political repercussions to any sweeping restrictions. Reviewing talking points on the ban aboard the plane with advisers, Mr. Trump decided to cancel the administration’s rollout of an announcement, which included a news conference that Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, was planning to hold on the issue the next day. Instead, another meeting was proposed.

The discussion aboard the Nov. 4 flight was first reported by The Washington Post.

White House officials pushing for action were still holding out hope that there would be an announcement of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, with an exemption for menthol, last week.

The proposed ban had gathered significant support earlier this fall, as the crisis over teenage vaping, with year-over-year increases, coincided with a sprawling outbreak of severe lung injuries. While most of the illnesses, now affecting more than 2,000 people and causing more than 40 deaths, have been attributed to vaping THC products, the e-cigarette industry also became the target of criticism for luring minors into using its products.

A lack of federal action prompted several states to try to institute bans on flavored e-cigarettes, spurring the vaping and tobacco industries to mount legal challenges and lobby lawmakers and the White House against regulatory restrictions that would impede adult e-smokers.

Juul Labs, the largest seller of e-cigarettes in the country and the target of several federal investigations, had taken most of its flavors off the market in anticipation of a national flavor ban. The company had said that its mint-flavored pods made up about 70 percent of its sales; menthol was 10 percent; and two tobacco flavors accounted for 20 percent. But many other look-alikes, in flavors like chai and melon, have sprung up to fill the void left by Juul’s actions.

Mr. Trump has since decided to follow the advice of political advisers to stall on the issue and meet with more groups.

On Nov. 11, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would be “meeting with representatives of the vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the vaping and E-cigarette dilemma.”

The announcement on Twitter took West Wing advisers by surprise, and one senior official said no meeting had been scheduled. One adviser who spoke to Mr. Trump recently said the president was simply overwhelmed by other issues, including the televised impeachment hearings that began last week, distracting him from deciding what the administration should do about restricting e-cigarette flavors.

But he is concerned about his chances in 2020, and allies working for the vaping industry have told Mr. Trump of battleground state polling of his own voters that showed the issue costing him support.

One such poll was commissioned by John McLaughlin, one of the Trump campaign pollsters, for the Vapor Technology Association. The poll, which surveyed battleground state voters who vape, showed negative results for Mr. Trump if he went ahead with a ban, and was passed around to a number of people in Mr. Trump’s circle, including Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, and senior White House officials.

Tony Abboud, the executive director of the group that commissioned the poll that has helped influence the president, said they were encouraged by “what appears to be a move in the right direction for adult smokers and their families. Bans don’t work, they never have.”

Mr. Trump has also been under an intense lobbying campaign over the past seven weeks, waged by tobacco and vaping companies, along with conservative organizations, like Americans for Tax Reform, which are opposed to regulatory limits that would affect retailers, small businesses and adult consumers of e-cigarettes. Some have promoted enforcing sales restrictions to protect minors, or raising the national age to 21 for sales of all tobacco products.

The trajectory of the flavor ban — from a bold pronouncement of swift action to a fizzle after the political realities of taking such an action emerge — is similar to Mr. Trump’s stance on gun legislation. Months after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio, when Mr. Trump said he wanted to pass “very meaningful background checks,” warnings from gun rights advocates and Republican lawmakers about the political fallout that would result from doing that ultimately led to no action on the issue.

Inside the White House, the flavor ban has also become a proxy issue for how his advisers see Mr. Trump’s path to re-election — in one camp are those who believe he should try to win back suburban women, including mothers of teenagers who would presumably worry about their children becoming addicted to nicotine. In the other are those who advise him to assume that voting bloc would not favor him anyway and to focus only on energizing his base.

Mr. Parscale, the campaign manager, had flagged to Mr. Trump after he first announced his intention to ban most flavored e-cigarettes that it would hurt him with his base. Mr. Parscale and other advisers warned Mr. Trump to slow down, and announce he was going to take time studying the issue, telling him that a ban could depress turnout in critical states.

Those political concerns were not without merit: E-cigarette users have held protests outside the White House and outside Trump rallies that they may have attended under other circumstances. Protesters have also raised concerns about the potential closing of thousands of vape shops, which they said would hurt the economy and cost jobs across the country.

But it is not clear whether pro-vaping activists are one-issue voters.

While some advice to Mr. Trump was grounded in polling, some was based on a gut-level understanding of Trump voters: Taking away the right to smoke or vape would be something akin to taking away firearms.

In the opposing camp is Kellyanne Conway, a top White House adviser and Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, who has been telling colleagues and the president that it is a mistake to assume, as Mr. Parscale and others have done, that suburban moms who care deeply about a public health crisis for teenagers have deserted Mr. Trump for good.

Those advisers, including Mr. Azar, have been pushing the administration to address the issue, as parents and schools as well as public health experts have grown increasingly concerned about the rise in teenage vaping. Mr. Azar had told the president that about more than one-fourth of high school students reported vaping e-cigarettes within the previous 30 days, according to this year’s survey of tobacco use among youths.

Recent Vaping Regulations

Several states have announced e-cigarette bans in response to recent vaping illnesses and deaths. More maps and charts.

Westlake Legal Group regs-335 Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-335-map Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

Westlake Legal Group regs-600 Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-600-map Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

San Francisco

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

Westlake Legal Group regs-800 Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes   Westlake Legal Group regs-800-map Trump Backs Off Flavor Ban for E-Cigarettes your-feed-healthcare Trump, Melania Trump, Donald J Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Recalls and Bans of Products Presidential Election of 2020 Menthol Juul Labs Inc E-Cigarettes

Pine Ridge

Reservation

San Francisco

The Trump

administration

Los Angeles

Considering or working on a ban

Announced or enacted ban on flavored e-cigarettes

Announced or enacted ban on all e-cigarettes

Four-month ban on all vaping products

By The New York Times

Last September, Mr. Azar said the proposed ban would include mint and menthol because those two flavors appeared to be popular with teenagers, especially once e-cigarette companies responded to criticism of appealing to young people and began pulling fruit and dessert varieties, like mango, from shelves.

But those who had opposed a flavor ban — especially against menthol — found ammunition in the results of a recently released national survey of high school students, which showed that very few preferred menthol. Most said they chose fruit or mint as their favorite flavors of e-cigarettes.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Trump, who at first expressed interest in the ban as a mother of a teenage son, did not respond to a request for comment about whether she was still invested in the issue.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Juul Replaces Its C.E.O. With a Tobacco Executive

The vaping powerhouse Juul Labs replaced its chief executive with a veteran of Big Tobacco on Wednesday, deepening the company’s turmoil and raising doubts about the very future of the e-cigarette industry.

The sudden announcement capped a relentless cascade of events that has called into question the safety of devices once billed as a promising alternative to cigarettes, one of the world’s leading preventable causes of death. Now, Juul is looking to that very industry for its survival as it faces a federal criminal inquiry, new bans on some of its products, and an onslaught of state and federal regulatory investigations into its marketing practices.

Early Wednesday morning, after frantic days of internal meetings, the company announced that its current chief executive, Kevin Burns, would resign as chief executive. His chosen replacement is K.C. Crosthwaite, a top official at Altria, the cigarette giant that bought a 35-percent share in Juul for $12.8 billion last December and has seen the company it invested in rocked by growing crisis.

In another sign of regulatory and business uncertainty, Altria and Philip Morris International said on Wednesday that they had ended talks to merge, dashing the chances of reuniting the two arms of what had once been the tobacco giant Philip Morris.

The e-cigarette industry — which Juul commands, with more than 70 percent of the market — is being threatened by twin public health crises: the rise of teenage vaping, which public health officials fear could create a new generation of nicotine addicts, and a surge of severe lung illnesses, including at least 11 deaths, linked to vaping.

Dr. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that in light of the epidemic of youth vaping, he doubted that any e-cigarette company could now prove that the benefits of its products outweighed the risks — a critical factor to win agency approval to stay on the market in the United States.

“In some ways the last several years has provided a record where it’s hard to see that these products could ever meet the ‘protection of public health standard,’” Dr. Kessler said. “And if they can’t meet that standard, they can’t be marketed.”

Testifying at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, the acting F.D.A. commissioner, Dr. Ned Sharpless, appeared to echo that sentiment, saying, “We really don’t think anyone should be using e-cigarettes, except perhaps a person who is using it instead of a combustible cigarette.”

Dr. Sharpless said the agency could have done more to keep the products away from teenagers. “In retrospect the F.D.A. should have acted sooner,” he said. “We’re going to catch up.”

In addition to the deaths, 530 cases of the lung sicknesses have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causing public health agencies to warn most people to refrain from vaping any substance.

Many of the patients have said they had been vaping THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, when they became short of breath and grew sicker, officials have reported. But some said they were using just nicotine, or both.

Juul sells only nicotine products along with its sleek and popular vaping pens. Nevertheless, the company has become synonymous with vaping generally for much of the public.

“Juul is the face of the current public health crisis. Heads need to roll,” said Stefanie Miller, a co-founder of Sandhill Strategy, which consults with investment firms on regulatory policy, particularly tobacco-industry regulations. “To see the top head roll is a sign to public health, investors, to everyone that they know they need to make some changes.”

In announcing its change of leadership, Juul appeared to cave on issues that could be detrimental to its business. It said it would not fight a Trump administration proposal to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, which would slash its domestic sales. The company also said it would end one of its marketing campaigns, “Make the Switch,” which the F.D.A. warned could be construed as an illegal effort to portray its e-cigarettes as safer than traditional cigarettes.

A Juul employee said the company was also considering whether it should abandon its multimillion-dollar campaign on a ballot initiative to overturn an e-cigarette ban that is to take effect in San Francisco early next year.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161482992_d7bca353-1885-4105-bcb4-f2694ab1bfbf-articleLarge Juul Replaces Its C.E.O. With a Tobacco Executive Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products Philip Morris Companies Inc Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Juul Labs Inc Food and Drug Administration E-Cigarettes Crosthwaite, K C Burns, Kevin R Appointments and Executive Changes Altria Group Inc

Kevin Burns, the outgoing Juul Labs C.E.O., in June.CreditLea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle, via Polaris

Within the last week alone, several television networks decided to stop broadcasting Juul’s ads; Massachusetts announced a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products; Rhode Island announced a ban on flavors; Walmart said it would stop selling all e-cigarettes; and the F.D.A. announced it had opened a criminal inquiry into the supply chain of vaping products and devices. The Federal Trade Commission also has been investigating Juul’s marketing practices. And the United States attorney for Northern California opened a criminal investigation into the company, a development first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

On Sept. 10, President Trump met with Dr. Sharpless and Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary. After informing the president of another spike in teenage vaping, the two officials said they would issue the proposed ban on most flavored e-cigarettes within several weeks.

That would include mint and menthol, they said, although some vaping industry leaders have vowed to contest the inclusion of those two items. Juul has said mint and menthol now account for about 80 percent of its products and a ban on those would severely hurt its domestic sales.

All of this foreshadows a regulatory showdown at the F.D.A. that is slated to begin in May next year when the agency will determine what, if any, e-cigarettes can remain on the domestic market.

“The United States is moving toward asking vaping companies for permission to sell any products,” Ms. Miller from Sandhill Strategy said. “The people they’re asking, the F.D.A., have shown these products are killing people.”

The turn in fortunes for Juul, and perhaps e-cigarettes generally, culminates one of the biggest disagreements in public health in recent years: whether e-cigarettes would prove a benefit to society. Supporters of e-cigarettes have argued that these devices have the potential to save millions of lives and billions of dollars by providing a safer alternative to the nation’s leading killer, traditional cigarettes.

Some investment advisers pointed to the disarray with e-cigarettes as a potential benefit to traditional smoking. “The recent media scrutiny on vaping will help overall cigarette consumption,” Nik Modi, a tobacco-industry analyst for RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a message to investors.

In recent weeks, as Juul sales have slowed, sales of cigarettes declined at a slower pace with each passing week, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm.

But skeptics have said all along that not enough is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes and assert that they, and Juul, in particular, have spurred heavy experimentation by teenagers.

The upshot may drive the market for e-cigarettes overseas, a market that Juul’s new chief executive, Mr. Crosthwaite, highlighted to employees in an all-hands meeting at the company headquarters on Wednesday morning.

“International expansion continues to be a huge opportunity given the number of smokers around the world,” he told employees.

But the company’s initial foray in China this month failed almost immediately, and last week India also said it would ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

Mr. Crosthwaite, in coming from Altria, brings to Juul the experience of working for one of the most regulatory-savvy companies in the world; the tobacco industry has navigated perilous straits in keeping its product on shelves and pushing internationally, despite cigarettes being a proven, addictive killer.

In a speech to a tobacco industry gathering in Washington on Wednesday, Howard Willard III, chief executive of Altria, said Mr. Crosthwaite would help Juul “urgently control, confront and reduce youth vaping,” and deal with the company’s other problems.

“This is a pivotal moment,” he said. “Vaping is at an inflection point.”

Dr. Ned Sharpless, the F.D.A. acting commissioner, testified about the threats of e-cigarettes to the public before a House subcommittee on Wednesday.CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

Despite the public concerns, Altria invested $12.8 billion in Juul in 2018 for a 35 percent stake, valuing Juul at about $38 billion. Mr. Crosthwaite became a board observer at Juul.

As for the decision to end the merger talks between Philip Morris and Altria, the two companies said they would instead focus on rolling out the IQOS heated tobacco product in the United States. They emphasized that IQOS, which Philip Morris International sells abroad and which has received F.D.A. approval for sale in the United States, is not “an e-vapor product.”

IQOS is a penlike electronic device with a battery pack that resembles a cigarette case. It features a heating blade that warms a tobacco stick and emits a vapor with the taste of tobacco, but with fewer noxious chemicals than cigarette smoke. The F.D.A. has approved it for sale in the United States and said the product could help people to quit smoking. The agency is still weighing whether to permit Altria to be marketed as a reduced-risk product.

Investors had appeared largely skeptical of the potential deal, despite the companies arguing that reuniting could revive their fortunes amid a decline in cigarette sales.

On Wall Street, analysts said they were not that surprised by the abrupt end to the merger talks, especially given the steady drumbeat of negative headlines around vaping and Juul’s products. The stock of Philip Morris International ended Wednesday up more than 5 percent at $75.28, while Altria’s stock ended essentially flat at $40.56.

But Altria is likely to face a bumpier future amid the uncertainty around Juul.

Analysts said it was increasingly likely that Altria might have to write down the value of its $12.8 billion investment in Juul, given the recent developments and uncertainty surrounding the company.

“When the Juul transaction was done, it valued the company at around $37 billion,” said Garrett Nelson, an analyst at CFRA Research. “Juul’s valuation today is probably a fraction of that.”

Meanwhile, Altria’s debt levels more than doubled as it borrowed to buy the Juul stake, he noted.

Tim Hubbard, an assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, said it was not surprising that Mr. Burns was stepping down from the company as it had struggled to adapt to the swift change of perceptions, from a company that was providing an alternative to smoking to one that had been vilified.

“When compared to traditional tobacco products — which have remained on the shelves for decades despite being proven dangerous — e-cigarette makers have failed spectacularly,” Mr. Hubbard said in an email. “Bringing in a traditional tobacco executive who knows how to market and manage government relationships with deadly products matches the firm’s needs.”

Michael J. de la Merced and Katie Thomas contributed reporting.

Earlier coverage

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Juul Replaces Its C.E.O. With a Tobacco Executive

The vaping powerhouse Juul Labs replaced its chief executive with a veteran of Big Tobacco on Wednesday, deepening the company’s turmoil and raising doubts about the very future of the e-cigarette industry.

The sudden announcement capped a relentless cascade of events that has called into question the safety of devices once billed as a promising alternative to cigarettes, one of the world’s leading preventable causes of death. Now, Juul is looking to that very industry for its survival as it faces a federal criminal inquiry, new bans on some of its products, and an onslaught of state and federal regulatory investigations into its marketing practices.

Early Wednesday morning, after frantic days of internal meetings, the company announced that its current chief executive, Kevin Burns, would resign as chief executive. His chosen replacement is K.C. Crosthwaite, a top official at Altria, the cigarette giant that bought a 35-percent share in Juul for $12.8 billion last December and has seen the company it invested in rocked by growing crisis.

In another sign of regulatory and business uncertainty, Altria and Philip Morris International said on Wednesday that they had ended talks to merge, dashing the chances of reuniting the two arms of what had once been the tobacco giant Philip Morris.

The e-cigarette industry — which Juul commands, with more than 70 percent of the market — is being threatened by twin public health crises: the rise of teenage vaping, which public health officials fear could create a new generation of nicotine addicts, and a surge of severe lung illnesses, including at least 11 deaths, linked to vaping.

Dr. David Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said that in light of the epidemic of youth vaping, he doubted that any e-cigarette company could now prove that the benefits of its products outweighed the risks — a critical factor to win agency approval to stay on the market in the United States.

“In some ways the last several years has provided a record where it’s hard to see that these products could ever meet the ‘protection of public health standard,’” Dr. Kessler said. “And if they can’t meet that standard, they can’t be marketed.”

Testifying at a congressional hearing on Wednesday, the acting F.D.A. commissioner, Dr. Ned Sharpless, appeared to echo that sentiment, saying, “We really don’t think anyone should be using e-cigarettes, except perhaps a person who is using it instead of a combustible cigarette.”

Dr. Sharpless said the agency could have done more to keep the products away from teenagers. “In retrospect the F.D.A. should have acted sooner,” he said. “We’re going to catch up.”

In addition to the deaths, 530 cases of the lung sicknesses have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causing public health agencies to warn most people to refrain from vaping any substance.

Many of the patients have said they had been vaping THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, when they became short of breath and grew sicker, officials have reported. But some said they were using just nicotine, or both.

Juul sells only nicotine products along with its sleek and popular vaping pens. Nevertheless, the company has become synonymous with vaping generally for much of the public.

“Juul is the face of the current public health crisis. Heads need to roll,” said Stefanie Miller, a co-founder of Sandhill Strategy, which consults with investment firms on regulatory policy, particularly tobacco-industry regulations. “To see the top head roll is a sign to public health, investors, to everyone that they know they need to make some changes.”

In announcing its change of leadership, Juul appeared to cave on issues that could be detrimental to its business. It said it would not fight a Trump administration proposal to ban most flavored e-cigarettes, which would slash its domestic sales. The company also said it would end one of its marketing campaigns, “Make the Switch,” which the F.D.A. warned could be construed as an illegal effort to portray its e-cigarettes as safer than traditional cigarettes.

A Juul employee said the company was also considering whether it should abandon its multimillion-dollar campaign on a ballot initiative to overturn an e-cigarette ban that is to take effect in San Francisco early next year.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161482992_d7bca353-1885-4105-bcb4-f2694ab1bfbf-articleLarge Juul Replaces Its C.E.O. With a Tobacco Executive Teenagers and Adolescence Smoking and Tobacco Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products Philip Morris Companies Inc Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Juul Labs Inc Food and Drug Administration E-Cigarettes Crosthwaite, K C Burns, Kevin R Appointments and Executive Changes Altria Group Inc

Kevin Burns, the outgoing Juul Labs C.E.O., in June.CreditLea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle, via Polaris

Within the last week alone, several television networks decided to stop broadcasting Juul’s ads; Massachusetts announced a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products; Rhode Island announced a ban on flavors; Walmart said it would stop selling all e-cigarettes; and the F.D.A. announced it had opened a criminal inquiry into the supply chain of vaping products and devices. The Federal Trade Commission also has been investigating Juul’s marketing practices. And the United States attorney for Northern California opened a criminal investigation into the company, a development first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

On Sept. 10, President Trump met with Dr. Sharpless and Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary. After informing the president of another spike in teenage vaping, the two officials said they would issue the proposed ban on most flavored e-cigarettes within several weeks.

That would include mint and menthol, they said, although some vaping industry leaders have vowed to contest the inclusion of those two items. Juul has said mint and menthol now account for about 80 percent of its products and a ban on those would severely hurt its domestic sales.

All of this foreshadows a regulatory showdown at the F.D.A. that is slated to begin in May next year when the agency will determine what, if any, e-cigarettes can remain on the domestic market.

“The United States is moving toward asking vaping companies for permission to sell any products,” Ms. Miller from Sandhill Strategy said. “The people they’re asking, the F.D.A., have shown these products are killing people.”

The turn in fortunes for Juul, and perhaps e-cigarettes generally, culminates one of the biggest disagreements in public health in recent years: whether e-cigarettes would prove a benefit to society. Supporters of e-cigarettes have argued that these devices have the potential to save millions of lives and billions of dollars by providing a safer alternative to the nation’s leading killer, traditional cigarettes.

Some investment advisers pointed to the disarray with e-cigarettes as a potential benefit to traditional smoking. “The recent media scrutiny on vaping will help overall cigarette consumption,” Nik Modi, a tobacco-industry analyst for RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a message to investors.

In recent weeks, as Juul sales have slowed, sales of cigarettes declined at a slower pace with each passing week, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm.

But skeptics have said all along that not enough is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes and assert that they, and Juul, in particular, have spurred heavy experimentation by teenagers.

The upshot may drive the market for e-cigarettes overseas, a market that Juul’s new chief executive, Mr. Crosthwaite, highlighted to employees in an all-hands meeting at the company headquarters on Wednesday morning.

“International expansion continues to be a huge opportunity given the number of smokers around the world,” he told employees.

But the company’s initial foray in China this month failed almost immediately, and last week India also said it would ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

Mr. Crosthwaite, in coming from Altria, brings to Juul the experience of working for one of the most regulatory-savvy companies in the world; the tobacco industry has navigated perilous straits in keeping its product on shelves and pushing internationally, despite cigarettes being a proven, addictive killer.

In a speech to a tobacco industry gathering in Washington on Wednesday, Howard Willard III, chief executive of Altria, said Mr. Crosthwaite would help Juul “urgently control, confront and reduce youth vaping,” and deal with the company’s other problems.

“This is a pivotal moment,” he said. “Vaping is at an inflection point.”

Dr. Ned Sharpless, the F.D.A. acting commissioner, testified about the threats of e-cigarettes to the public before a House subcommittee on Wednesday.CreditPete Marovich for The New York Times

Despite the public concerns, Altria invested $12.8 billion in Juul in 2018 for a 35 percent stake, valuing Juul at about $38 billion. Mr. Crosthwaite became a board observer at Juul.

As for the decision to end the merger talks between Philip Morris and Altria, the two companies said they would instead focus on rolling out the IQOS heated tobacco product in the United States. They emphasized that IQOS, which Philip Morris International sells abroad and which has received F.D.A. approval for sale in the United States, is not “an e-vapor product.”

IQOS is a penlike electronic device with a battery pack that resembles a cigarette case. It features a heating blade that warms a tobacco stick and emits a vapor with the taste of tobacco, but with fewer noxious chemicals than cigarette smoke. The F.D.A. has approved it for sale in the United States and said the product could help people to quit smoking. The agency is still weighing whether to permit Altria to be marketed as a reduced-risk product.

Investors had appeared largely skeptical of the potential deal, despite the companies arguing that reuniting could revive their fortunes amid a decline in cigarette sales.

On Wall Street, analysts said they were not that surprised by the abrupt end to the merger talks, especially given the steady drumbeat of negative headlines around vaping and Juul’s products. The stock of Philip Morris International ended Wednesday up more than 5 percent at $75.28, while Altria’s stock ended essentially flat at $40.56.

But Altria is likely to face a bumpier future amid the uncertainty around Juul.

Analysts said it was increasingly likely that Altria might have to write down the value of its $12.8 billion investment in Juul, given the recent developments and uncertainty surrounding the company.

“When the Juul transaction was done, it valued the company at around $37 billion,” said Garrett Nelson, an analyst at CFRA Research. “Juul’s valuation today is probably a fraction of that.”

Meanwhile, Altria’s debt levels more than doubled as it borrowed to buy the Juul stake, he noted.

Tim Hubbard, an assistant professor of management in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, said it was not surprising that Mr. Burns was stepping down from the company as it had struggled to adapt to the swift change of perceptions, from a company that was providing an alternative to smoking to one that had been vilified.

“When compared to traditional tobacco products — which have remained on the shelves for decades despite being proven dangerous — e-cigarette makers have failed spectacularly,” Mr. Hubbard said in an email. “Bringing in a traditional tobacco executive who knows how to market and manage government relationships with deadly products matches the firm’s needs.”

Michael J. de la Merced and Katie Thomas contributed reporting.

Earlier coverage

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes as Vaping Concerns Mount

Walmart said on Friday that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, responding to growing concerns over the health effects of vaping and its soaring popularity among teenagers.

“Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products,” the nation’s largest retailer said in a statement on Friday.

Walmart will continue selling e-cigarettes until its current inventory is exhausted, which could last until January. A company spokesman said the retailer would continue to sell traditional cigarettes.

The decision by Walmart underscores the way parents, doctors and government officials are increasingly treating e-cigarettes, marketed as smoking-cessation devices, as addictive and potentially dangerous products.

And it also represented a significant business move for Walmart. Although vaping products do not make up a large portion of the company’s overall revenue, e-cigarette shoppers tend to be younger and more loyal customers, who shop regularly and often buy other items when they come to replenish their vaping supplies.

“The e-cigarette shopper is a very important shopper for Walmart,’’ said Burt Flickinger, a managing director of the retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group.

Walmart is not the first retailer to stop selling e-cigarettes. Rite Aid, one of the country’s biggest pharmacy chains, said in April that it would stop selling e-cigarettes and other vaping products over concerns that they were fueling tobacco use among middle and high school students across the United States.

In recent weeks, mounting medical concerns about the effects of vaping have prompted government investigations and warnings from medical groups.

On Thursday, medical authorities said that the number of vaping-related lung illnesses had risen to 530 probable cases, and a Missouri man became the eighth person to die from the mysterious ailments. Public health officials have said that many of the people who became sick were vaping THC, the ingredient in marijuana that induces a high, although some people have reported getting ill from vaping nicotine through e-cigarettes, too.

No one product or ingredient has been identified as the cause of the illnesses, and health experts say there may be multiple devices or ingredients involved.

Investigations are underway by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and state health departments.

Much of the concern about vaping has focused on use among teenagers. Federal officials said on Wednesday that teenage vaping continued to increase this year, suggesting that campaigns to curb e-cigarette use among minors were not working.

Joshua Raffel, a spokesman for Juul Labs, the most popular e-cigarette company in the country, declined to comment. Last week, after the Trump administration said it would ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes, Juul said it strongly agreed “with the need for aggressive category-wide action on flavored products.”

David Sutton, a spokesman for Altria, which owns 35 percent of Juul, said, “We respect a retailer’s right to determine what products they want to sell.”

Walmart had raised the minimum age for tobacco products to 21 earlier this year, and said in May that it would also no longer sell “fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems.”

The retailer’s decision to end e-cigarette sales entirely comes as it also grapples with its connections to the gun industry in the wake of the shooting in August at one of its stores in El Paso.

Earlier this month, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition that could be used in military-style assault rifles, discourage its customers from openly carrying guns in its stores and call on Congress to increase background checks and consider a new assault rifle ban.

Michael Corkery and Sheila Kaplan contributed reporting.

Walmart Raises Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

May 8, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_146750595_132ca16f-e184-4edc-bbb0-0f81ca005dd7-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes as Vaping Concerns Mount Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes
Vaping Illnesses Increase to 530 Probable Cases, C.D.C. Says

Sept. 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 19VAPING1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes as Vaping Concerns Mount Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes
Is It Time to Quit Vaping?

Sept. 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 11xp-vaping1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes as Vaping Concerns Mount Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Fairfax County changes its response after reported student vaping soars

Health concerns around vaping are not just a national conversation, it’s a daily reality for D.C.-area school systems. Fairfax County, Virginia, is changing its policy to provide support for kids having trouble putting the e-cigarette down.

If a student was caught smoking on campus in the past, perhaps they would have faced consequences, such as limited participation in extracurricular activities or sports. But now, there is a more comprehensive response in Fairfax County schools to address the root of a growing problem: addiction to nicotine.

“We think that the vast majority of these incidents are due to vaping and e-cigarettes, not due to traditional tobacco products,” said Lucy Caldwell, with Fairfax County Public Schools, of the sharp increase in reported incidents.

School system data shows that in the 2016-17 school year, 69 students were identified as having tobacco-related substance abuse. “And then, in a year, it jumped to more than 400. And then, last school year, it was more than 600, and that’s probably the tip of the iceberg,” Caldwell said.

Along with distributing materials about the dangers of addiction and the health-concerns about vaping that have made headlines recently, the school system is hiring support staff.

“So we do have additional counselors and substance abuse specialists this year, and they’re actually embedded into the school system, so we’re there to provide support and help for people who might need it,” Caldwell said.

Education around the health perils of using nicotine start in county school curriculum in the second grade. However, Caldwell said many students may not realize they are addicted and may misunderstand that vaping is putting nicotine into their bodies.

She said it’s paramount for parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of vaping so the message is continued at home.

Source

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

CBS: Is a social panic over e-cigs ruining the “biggest public health opportunity” in a century?

Westlake Legal Group cbs-vaping CBS: Is a social panic over e-cigs ruining the “biggest public health opportunity” in a century? vaping The Blog social panic E-Cigarettes cigarettes

Are we about to lose the war on cigarettes by winning a battle against vaping? “If we lose this opportunity” to get rid of cigarettes, David Abrams tells CBS News, “I think we will have blown the single biggest public health opportunity we’ve ever had in 120 years.” At issue is whether vaping is better for health than cigarettes, and how much better — a point on which British and American researchers strongly disagree:

“My research shows that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than cigarettes,” said Dr. Lion Shahab, an associate professor at University College London.

Public Health England describes e-cigarettes as “at least 95% less harmful” than tobacco cigarettes.

Dr. David Abrams, a professor at New York University, said that he thinks that’s a fair estimate. “Actually, I would go further,” he said. “I think there’s no evidence from looking at the cancer biomarkers, that it could be as high as 98% or 99% for cancer.”

Vaping isn’t harmless, Abrams notes, as nicotine is still addictive and has its own health-related concerns. Eliminating the tar and carbon monoxide of smoking, however, makes for a dramatic difference in health issues between the two. What’s more, the push to ban vaping will make it much more difficult to move current cigarette smokers to a much less harmful transition product. Abrams estimates that a ten year push to get cigarette smokers to e-cigs could save six to seven million lives a year.

Just how much less harmful e-cigs are is the core of the debate, however. CBS This Morning addressed the controversy in a second video report, as American researchers studying long-term vaping impacts think it might be nearly as bad — at least outside the lungs. Current animal-based research shows tendencies toward arterial changes that could lead to significant heart disease with decades of use, which will lead to excess preventable deaths as well:

But other American scientists, like West Virginia University School of Medicine associate professor Mark Olfert, are drawing very different conclusions.

“I would say it’s 95% harmful,” Olfert said, “because … in any single study that I’ve seen that’s looking at this in a meaningful way outside the lung, they’re finding damage and harm.” …

In a recent study, Olfert looked at eight months of exposure — the equivalent of 25 human years. What he found concerns him: The animals’ arteries stiffened almost as much as those exposed to cigarette smoke over the same time.

“Stiffer arteries means greater risk for stroke, for heart attack, atherosclerosis, aneurisms, any number of vascular effects,” Olfert said. “It’s extremely alarming, because it tells me that e-cigarettes simply are not gonna be safer than cigarettes.”

To some extent, the two camps seem to be talking past each other. Abrams and the British science establishment isn’t declaring vaping to be completely harmless and acknowledge that long-term risks have not yet been established. However, given the choice between the health impacts of cigarettes and e-cigs — which is the real and rational choice for current smokers — who wouldn’t choose to shed the lung-related health impacts? The outcomes Olfert highlight are present at the same levels or worse for cigarettes too, which remain on the market.

It’s the rash of acute illnesses and deaths that are driving concerns, which Abrams says is legitimate — but largely misdirected. The media coverage is driving a social panic about legitimate vaping when the deaths and injuries are related to home-brew vaping:

“I think all the evidence we’ve seen from the FDA and the CDC reports is that these cases are people who bought marijuana oils on the street made either illegally or in a sort of a street version like a dirty street drug,” he said.

“We haven’t seen a single case that a commercially made legitimate e-cigarette that smokers are using has caused any of these illnesses,” Abrams added. “And I would say for smokers they should not be scared by what they’re seeing and that e-cigarettes should still be used instead of cigarettes if they’ve already switched.”

It’s also being driven by the nature of the vaping industry, which largely consists of the same tobacco companies that spent decades being, ahem, less than honest about health impacts. They spent a long, long time micturating on our heads and calling it precipitation, and not only on health impacts but also youth marketing. That’s one of the concerns from US researchers — that vaping has been marketed not just to current smokers but also teens and young adults as a harmless experience. More recent restrictions have at least forced some changes to that approach, but it’s hard to criticize scientists for approaching the next generation of nicotine delivery devices with a very large amount of skepticism.

Still, that skepticism shouldn’t outweigh the science, especially if it can help wean smokers off cigarettes. Right now, it seems as though we’re poised to make the perfect the enemy of the good-enough-for-right-now.

Addendum: Kudos to CBS News for a very fair and balanced approach to this controversy, too. It’s not easy for news magazine shows to spend this much time and effort presenting all sides of an issue.

The post CBS: Is a social panic over e-cigs ruining the “biggest public health opportunity” in a century? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group cbs-vaping-300x163 CBS: Is a social panic over e-cigs ruining the “biggest public health opportunity” in a century? vaping The Blog social panic E-Cigarettes cigarettes   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes

Walmart said on Friday that it would end sales of e-cigarettes at its locations in the United States, as medical concerns about the effects of vaping rise along with sicknesses and deaths seemingly linked to the habit.

“Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products,” the nation’s largest retailer said in a statement on Friday. The company will continue to sell the devices until its current inventory of e-cigarettes is exhausted.

Walmart’s decision came a day after medical authorities said that the number of vaping-related lung illnesses had risen to 530 probable cases, and a Missouri man became the eighth to die from the mysterious ailments.

Investigations are underway by the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration and state health departments.

On Sunday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced emergency regulations to quickly ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, and state health officials approved the ban on Tuesday. Michigan announced this month that it would also prohibit such products.

Last week, the Trump administration said it would move to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes.

Walmart had raised the minimum age for tobacco products to 21 earlier this year, and had said in May that it would also no longer sell “fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems.”

Juul, the most popular e-cigarette company in the country, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move by Walmart is the most recent example of the retailer responding to widespread concerns about its products. In the wake of the shooting at one of its own stores in El Paso in August, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition that could be used in military-style assault rifles.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

Walmart Raises Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco Products to 21

May 8, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_146750595_132ca16f-e184-4edc-bbb0-0f81ca005dd7-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes
Vaping Illnesses Increase to 530 Probable Cases, C.D.C. Says

Sept. 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 19VAPING1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes
Is It Time to Quit Vaping?

Sept. 19, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 11xp-vaping1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Walmart to End Sales of E-Cigarettes Walmart Stores Inc Respiratory Diseases Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Recalls and Bans of Products E-Cigarettes

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com