Juul Dominates The Vaping Industry Even As Criticism of Vape Products Grows

we started this project with the firm
belief that innovation could address all
the problems associated with smoking if
we build a product that's better than
cigarettes that's one thing and it's a
great start people want to move past say
jool the world's most successful maker
of electronic cigarettes so drool
revolutionized vaping as a matter of
fact it is called a iPhone of the
e-cigarettes a triumph of technology
that critics say helped spark a massive
public health crisis after years of
steady decline youth nicotine use a
suddenly reverse course seemingly
overnight Joule must be held to account
for the epidemic it has created I don't
think they were ever anti tobacco I
think they were Pro than making a lot of
money they made billions because Joule
succeeded where the tobacco industry
couldn't it made an old addiction new
and cool and produce something even
better than cigarettes at delivering
welcome to the laboratory's where we do
a lot of our preclinical aerosol testing
for decades tobacco companies have been
spending millions trying to come up with
a product that is less harmful than
cigarettes here at british american
tobacco x' largest research and
development facility they've adapted
their machines to be able to test
electronic cigarettes well obviously
there's a lot of investment being done
here on what we call PR our piece
potentially reduce risk products our
objective is to bring potentially less
harmful products to consumers and around
the world
the result is names like vipe glow and
Aalto some of the best-selling
next-generation products out there but
of the dozens of e-cigarettes now on the
none comes close to matching the market
share of jewell so how did they do it
the story of Joule begins with two
stanford university students both
smokers wanting to quit james bond c s--
and adam bowen were looking for a way to
get a nicotine fix without sucking
carcinogens from a cigarette butt
nicotine tastes awful it's bitter and
burns the throat Jule found a way to
make high doses of nicotine palatable
so before jewel typically an e-cigarette
had one or two percent nicotine and if
it had three percent it was for you know
the two pack a day smoker Jules nicotine
is three times more concentrated dr.
jackler you have five minutes
Robert jackler was one of the first to
sound an alarm testifying before US
Congress about what he called a new
nicotine arms race where the most
powerful weapon looked anything but it's
small and rectangular and it looks like
the USB flashdrive so if it's left on
the bedside table of a teenager a parent
wouldn't recognize it as a vaping device
then there was joules advertising
featuring a host of young looking models
multiple studies found joules ads and
online presence appealed to young people
economist ji-dong Wong published a paper
on what he called joules youth oriented
marketing including a social media
campaign he says led directly to
increased sales you'll claim to has
always claimed that they their targeted
audience is the adult smokers but based
on their marketing and the content of
marketing and where they marketed their
products I don't believe what they what
they claim is consistent with their our
actual marketing practices with critics
slamming the company and pressure from
regulators mounting Jule responded it
stopped using almost all social media it
dropped flavors although only in the US
and it announced it would spend thirty
million dollars to help prevent youth
from using its product many of those
changes came as the company's explosive
growth was about to hit a new level by
jool had gone from virtual unknown to
the largest retail east cigarette brand
in the US in just three years
at one point Joule had more than seventy
percent of the market last year Altria
one of the world's largest tobacco
companies paid nearly 13 billion dollars
for a 35 percent stake in Joule
was suddenly more valuable than Ford a
value financial analyst Ian Butler says
is based on a growth rate that comes not
from attracting adult smokers but new
users it can't just be people switching
Tim not for not for the valuation paid
no way they're not only basing that on
on sort of capturing former Altria
customers so to speak
this past summer thousands of students
protested inside jewels offices across
the u.s. they are really angry the truth
initiative a non-profit anti tobacco
organization helped organize the
protests without Joule we wouldn't have
the epidemic we have now they knew kids
were using it they knew that their
marketing strategy was geared toward
kids they knew the product was so
addictive that people would get hooked
and couldn't get off of it and they did
it anyway and why did they do it to make
a buck yeah I put a lot of blame at
their feet jewel insists its products
are meant for adult smokers not miners
and non-smokers
it says the company's goal was to
eliminate cigarettes but jewel is now
facing lawsuits from school board's
cities and state governments and Joule
violated New York state law by
repeatedly repeatedly targeting
teenagers there are calls for an
outright ban on vaping a third of Jule's
value has gone up in smoke it's now
worth only twenty four billion dollars
or a little more than Twitter Aaron
Saltzman CBC News Toronto