Juul to sell lower-nicotine pods as scrutiny ratchets higher

Juul Labs is actually addressing one of the most common criticisms levied against the e-cigarette company: the amount of nicotine in its vaping liquids.

The leading e-cig maker will soon introduce lower nicotine options for some of its flavor pods. A tiered approach to nicotine levels is actually thought to help people who are trying to quit smoking because they can gradually wean themselves off nicotine, the substance which makes cigarettes addictive.

Under Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the Food as well as Drug Administration has approached nicotine products as existing on a continuum of risk, where conventional cigarettes are the most harmful as well as alternatives like e-cigarettes are less harmful. Gottlieb has advocated to encourage smokers to switch to additional products on the continuum, realizing which not everyone can or wants to quit. Juul has framed its e-cigarettes as an option for adults looking to switch. However, the product has been gaining in popularity among teens as well as people who never smoked.

Juul currently does not offer different nicotine levels like some additional e-cigarettes. Instead, all of its pods contain 5 percent nicotine, the equivalent to a pack of cigarettes.

Starting in August, Juul will introduce 3 percent nicotine pods for its mint as well as Virginia tobacco flavors. They’ll offer limited quantities at first with the intention to make them widely available in October. The lower-nicotine pods will cost the same as the traditional ones, $15.99.

The two flavors are some of Juul’s most well-liked ones, though they’re not the most commonly criticized. Anti-tobacco advocates as well as lawmakers say fruity flavors like mango as well as creme brulee appeal to teens as well as mask the fact which each pod contains addictive nicotine. They’ve stepped up their attacks as more teenagers have started off using the e-cigarettes.

“JUUL Labs wants to meet the needs as well as preferences of adult smokers who are on their journey to switching by cigarettes, as well as we trust the availability of different nicotine strengths will continue to allow adult smokers the ability to explore what is actually best for them,” CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement.

Juul has become such a phenomenon which which’s earned its own verb: Juuling. Sales have skyrocketed almost 800 percent over the past year, catapulting Juul to the clear market leading spot with 68 percent of share, according to recent Nielsen numbers compiled by Wells Fargo.

The company has pledged $30 million over the next three years to research, youth as well as parent education, as well as community engagement efforts. In June, Juul said which could stop featuring versions on its Instagram, Facebook as well as Twitter accounts as well as start featuring former smokers who have switched.

Schools around the country have also begun to educate parents as well as students about e-cigarettes.

Juul’s fast growth has enticed some investors. which has raised $650 million of a $1.25 billion fundraising round, according to a regulatory form which filed This specific week. The round could value the start-up at $15 billion, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Its growth has also attracted perhaps unwanted attention by regulators. The FDA took a rare move earlier This specific year in issuing a 904(b) letter, which refers to the section of the Family Smoking Prevention as well as Tobacco Control Act. which was once in three years which the FDA has sent such a letter.

In its request, the FDA asked Juul for a slew of company materials, including marketing documents as well as research on whether certain products’ design features, ingredients or specifications appeal to different age groups. Gottlieb has been vocal about his belief which e-cigarettes can help adult smokers switch to alternatives, however not at the expense of addicting a fresh generation to nicotine.

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