Juul has been trying to improve their public perception with latest couple moves
One of the significant concerns about vaping, since it’s introduction has been it’s possible effect on teens. Some critics feel that acceptance of vaping would be a gateway to tobacco use, as widespread support of vaping would tell youth that smoking isn’t as harmful as it seems. However, a growing number of officials, along with many studies and scientific articles agree that vaping is substantially safer than cigarette smoking and that it could be a vital tool in the fight against tobacco.
This, however, has not dampened the concern growing from the media and the general public about the supposed true nature of vaping. These questions and concerns often fall to the manufacturers to answer. Juul Labs has recently come into the spotlight as one of the most popular new cig-a-like manufacturers. Stepping up to the plate, they have announced a public service campaign with the intention of educating parents about their products, and how to keep those products out of their children’s hands. Juul’s attempts to calm concerns haven’t stopped there.
Juul Leads the Way
The announced campaign will start by the end of June. According to Juul print, radio, and online advertisements will be circulated in select markets. The campaign will explain that their products do contain nicotine, a habit-forming chemical. It will also explain how the goal of their products has always been to help as many adult smokers around the world to quit smoking as possible. Juul is making a point of emphasizing that if you do not already smoke they do not encourage you to start vaping.
In a statement accompanying the announcement CEO of Juul Labs, Kevin Burns, said: “This campaign further builds on our ongoing efforts to raise awareness and combat teenage use, and we believe providing transparent and factual information to parents will help keep Juul out of the hands of young people.” Furthermore, Juul has pledged $30 Million to fund research that works to help prevent teenage vaping and the growing concerns around it.
Numbers on Teen Vaping
While it is refreshing to see a company take responsibility on an issue before it’s forced to, this teen vaping epidemic may not be what the media makes it out to be. Public Health England, England’s governmental health regulators, published a study just last year on the connection between e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. The study involved the interviewing of over 60,000 students aged 11-16 regarding their vaping and smoking habits. Findings showed that there was no real connection between picking up vaping and starting to smoke. The numbers show that only between 0.1%-0.5% of teens that have never smoked traditional cigarettes pick up vaping, not even taking into account how few of that 0.5 % would end up smoking traditional cigarettes.
There is further evidence that vaping is not only not a gateway to smoking, but it is actually more of a roadblock. The UK Centre for Substance Use Research did a study of vapers aged 16-25 and found that vaping lessened their desire or drive to smoke traditional cigarettes. Lead researcher Dr. Neil McKeganey said that their research found the vast majority of vapers view smoking traditional cigarettes in a very negative light. That same majority see vaping as entirely separate from smoking traditional cigarettes, indicating that among users there is a tremendous mental separation of the two products.
Vaping is not harmless, and no one is claiming it to be so. However it is an excellent harm reduction tool and many experts, backed by scientific research, view it as the key in the fight against tobacco. The data is mounting on the value vaping, and e-cigarettes hold as a smoking cessation tool. Many people who are already vapers are well versed in this and are reaping the health benefits of it. In 2015 Public Health England conducted a study that found vaping to be at a minimum 95% safer than smoking traditional cigarettes. Another study published by a team of researchers from the University of Louisville supports vaping as a cessation tool. In fact, their research found that vaping is more effective than any other cessation tool on the market which includes gums, patches, and prescription drugs.
That said, the work that Juul is doing to prevent youth vaping is essential. Education is a must, and promoting knowledge about these products should not be limited to what an excellent smoking cessation tool they are. Vaping is not a toy, it is not for teens, and we must acknowledge the risks that it carries. Juul Labs has stepped up and gotten ahead of the issue. The rest of the industry must do their part by supporting the health benefits vaping offers smokers while working to keep them out of the hands of teens.
Should Juul Labs be getting involved in the fight against teen vaping? Do you think vaping potentially leads kids to start smoking? Is it possible to support vaping while fighting teenage vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.