The following is a statement from Dr. Neil Schluger, Senior Advisor for Science, Vital Strategies on Altria’s purchase of a major stake in Juul, the company widely responsible for the explosive growth in vaping among youth in the United States:
“We’ve long been skeptical about the claims from vaping companies that they are interested in public health, and that they are different from big tobacco. Altria’s investment in Juul solidifies the two companies’ shared aim—to hook a new generation of users.
“Like Altria, Juul has repeatedly been cited by the U.S. FDA for not doing enough to prevent teens from using their product. There is growing evidence that youth vaping is an epidemic, and doctors have noted with alarm that large numbers of vaping teens are now seriously addicted to nicotine. Between them, Altria and Juul are believed to have spent nearly $8 million this year alone to lobby against regulation.
About Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control:
Vital Strategies works globally and in more than 40 countries to support the adoption of proven policies to reduce tobacco use. Our global team of experts use policy, advocacy and strategic communication to help governments adopt life-saving, public health “best buys” like comprehensive smokefree laws and high tobacco taxes. Our evidence-based public education campaigns – designed to encourage quitting, delay initiation, support policy goals like compliance with smoke-free laws, and over the long term, reduce the acceptability of smoking and change attitudes about the tobacco industry – have been seen by more than 2 billion people. We partner with American Cancer Society to produce The Tobacco Atlas, (sixth ed.) the most comprehensive report on the evolving global tobacco epidemic, and support production of WHO’s MPOWER reports. Vital Strategies is a main partner in the $1 billion Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
For more information Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control, please visit: http://www.vitalstrategies.org/programs/tobacco-control/
Christina Honeysett; Vital Strategies: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1.914.424.3356
Tracey Johnston; Vital Strategies (UK): email@example.com; +44.(0)7889.081.170