The company is pushing for passage of a pair of bills filed in the Florida House and Senate that would boost safety and crack down on youth vaping.
Amid national backlash over the dangers of youth vaping, JUUL Labs Inc. is pushing for tighter marketplace regulation to help stave off youth demand while also making the industry safer overall. In a recent open letter addressed to the Florida House of Representatives and Senate, Juul urged lawmakers to endorse SB 1006 and HB 1007, legislative proposals aimed at establishing a well-regulated marketplace for legal nicotine vaping products in Florida. The move comes as a response to the rampant sales of illegal vaping products in the state, primarily imported from China, posing significant challenges to public health and safety. Many of those products illegally target youth.
In the letter, Juul Labs said it “is on a mission to transition the world’s billion adult smokers away from combustible cigarettes, eliminate their use, and combat underage usage of our products.”
The letter highlighted what JUUL described as extensive efforts in ensuring product quality and compliance with regulatory standards. The letter also emphasized significant investments in product development, regulatory science, and manufacturing quality controls, aiming to guarantee that the products reaching consumers are of the highest quality and intended strictly for adult smokers.
The company recently agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by dozens of states, and has also agreed to compensate a number of Florida school districts after they filed legal claims against the vape maker for not taking adequate steps to protect students.
The letter, penned by JUUL Labs’ Regional Diector for State Government Affairs, Jennifer Cunningham, made clear that the company wants a better regulated market, but the letter also shed light on the company’s efforts to combat underage usage of its products. Cunningham wrote that those measures include supporting “Tobacco 21” laws to raise the legal age for tobacco product sales to 21, restricting vaping flavors to tobacco and menthol, limiting product purchases per transaction, and promoting retail partner compliance through ID checking and technology advancements.
However, despite these efforts, the letter points out the challenges posed by a burgeoning illegal vape market in Florida, with the state being the primary destination for sales of illicit vapor products in the U.S.
According to Juul Labs, these illegal products often feature youth-appealing packaging and flavors, undermining the regulatory progress made in the sector.
The vape-maker also expressed its readiness to assist Florida legislators in formulating policies that foster a well-regulated market for legal vapor products. The company said it remains optimistic about continuing the conversation and working hand in hand with lawmakers to address the pressing issue of illegal vapor product sales in Florida.
The call for legislative support underscores the urgency of addressing the illegal vape market to protect consumers, particularly the youth, from unregulated and potentially harmful products. As Florida legislators ponder over the proposed bills, the focus remains on creating a safer and more regulated environment for the sale of vapor products in the state.