which if you've never run a website that sells stuff is essentially just clicking an extra check box that hides the product, but they are doing this little bit of virtue signalling ahead of what they say they see as a sign of what is to come for regulation on eLiquids. Juul announced yesterday they are immediately suspending sales of their most popular fruity flavors, which up until yesterday accounted for more than half of the companies sales.
Juul last year stopped selling its flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores amid supposed impending pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, when the reality is half of the pods they had shipped out to half the country tasted awful, leaked terribly, and were quickly dumped in favor of 3rd party flavored pods. It makes dollars and sense to instead of owning up to the failures as a manufacturer to simply jump on the bandwagon as the company is being sold to big tobacco anyway.
Executive administration officials previously said they would remove all flavored pods and leave only tobacco flavored e-cigarettes on the market, however Juul said it will continue selling its mint and menthol nicotine pods in the meantime. A weird flex if I've ever seen one, but then again these strange and interesting times we live in seem to be full of those.
“We continue to review our policies and practices in advance of FDA’s flavor guidance and have not made any final decisions,” Juul spokesman Austin Finan said limply, trying to take full advantage of this artificially inflated vape hysteria in an attempt to posture himself and his company to look as if it actually cared about it's products consumers. “We are refraining from lobbying the administration on its draft flavor guidance and will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective.” he continued with indignant flaccidity.
Don't forget tobacco giant Altria invested $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in Juul late last year. The company then swiftly replaced Juul CEO Kevin Burns with longtime Altria executive KC Crosthwaite, who immediately hired fellow Altria executive Jose Luis Murillo oversee Juul’s sparkling new regulatory strategy.
Juul has been largely blamed for creating a teen vaping epidemic, which makes big tobacco's heavy handed investment in the company and the lawmakers pockets who have been driving these anti-vaping regulations even more suspect. The company’s sales have soared over the past few years alongside rates of middle school and high school students who say they use e-cigarettes but also do not use combustible cigarettes.
“We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers,” Crosthwaite said in one of the most obvious "Oh crap we have to make money on this investment still" realizations publicly released to date.
What do you think about big tobacco, errr, JUUL's statement and actions? Obvious ploy or just another gimmick in a failed attempt to save face? Are they correctly predicting what the government will do in a sign of ominous foreshadowing, or will the government find another avenue to deal with this vape fiasco?