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Juul Back In The News

A smattering of positive news surrounding Juul Labs – but even when the company does what it’s been asked to do it still gives the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids a headache

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A university student has written about Juul being the better of two evils. Despite veering off to talk to a zealot, a recent CNBC report focussed mainly on the benefits of Juuls helping adults to leave a life of cigarette use. There have been calls for Juul Labs to do more to prevent youth uptake – but its efforts to implement a school education program are being resisted by the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids (CTFK). In the UK, Juul has been listed for sale in Sainsbury’s.

Writing in The Daily Illini, an independent newspaper for students at the University of Illinois, Joseph Dillier believes that the media is fuelling “a moral panic lacking any historical context”.

He cites Slavoj Zizek saying: “many people opposed to e-cigarettes are often not as concerned about the science as they seem to be. For example, many smoking-opposed people are also in favour of the legalisation of other drugs. They have created an ethic where they are morally, not scientifically, opposed to smoking.”

“In a rush to make people healthier, the anti-smoking crusaders have ran past the science and built a cultural stigma against nicotine addictions of any kind.”

“Teenagers will always do risky and stupid things, but Juuling is safer than cigarettes.”

CNBC introduces Larry McLaughlin, a 62-year-old construction worker and ex-smoker who has swapped a cigarette habit for mango-flavoured nicotine pods. Forty years of smoking and countless failed quit attempts all solved through vaping.

“Stories like McLaughlin's are what Juul wants to hear more of — not the ones about teens usage,” says CNBC. If the writer had paused for thought and researched the topic better then maybe he could have worked out why there has been such inflated nonsense about youths vaping.

The author elected to ignore research proving that vaping works as a cessation tool, preferring to cite the presence of “anecdotal evidence”…and then proffer another example in Ryan Storey who now ‘Juuls instead of smoking.

It’s a shame that it felt compelled to include an interview with the American Lung Association; an organisation that belongs at the vanguard of Dillier’s anti-smoking moral crusaders alongside the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids.

Juul Labs has been compelled by the Food and Drug Administration to demonstrate the steps it is taking to combat teen usage. Part of this has been to set up an education program. Doing its best to ruin any chance of success, CTFK’s Gustavo Torrez has been writing to schools urging them to not get involved.

“We encourage you to reject their program and proposal,” writes Torrez, who then goes on to push resources full of lies and labels Juul Labs a “tobacco company”.

Luckily for Juul Labs and smokers we have fewer zealots pushing misguided dogma and disinformation in the UK. Sainsbury’s has announced that it is listing Juul in its stores and caused Juul’s managing director, Dan Thomson, to call the deal “a ringing endorsement for our product from a major UK supermarket”.

Rentafools Simon Capewell and Martin McKee provided “balance” to The Telegraph’s coverage, but quite why these cranks are ever called upon for quotes remains an on-going mystery.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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