Finally, there’s some good news for vapers as JUUL Labs promises $7.5 million towards a study on how vaping affects teens. For a startup company with over $38 billion valuation after the much-publicized deal with Altra Group last December, this doesn’t come much as a surprise as it seeks to enhance its international footprint. In fact, JUUL anticipates hitting the $45 billion mark in short order.
That being said, there’s been a lot of criticism that JUUL is promoting an “epidemic” – teen vaping. This might be because the company controls over 75% of the total US vaping market. So for a company of this valuation, is the $7.5 million donation to Meharry Medical College located in Nashville, Tenn enough?
According to Dr. James Hildreth, Meharry’s President and CEO, JUUL Labs’ donation to the medical research center is a structured attempt meant to ensure that JUUL takes sole ownership of the research and full control over the publication of the final findings.
Dr. Hildreth told CBC News that the grant gives JUUL (San Francisco-based company) full ownership of the study aimed at shedding some light on one of the society’s most severe health issues – teen vaping.
He further added that their main focus is to help federal agencies get a better understanding of the rising e-cig prevalence and how they affect teens. He said that smoking has been impacting teens negatively for decades, especially those from the minority population of African-Americans. At Meharry, they have been treated those affected by this scourge and are firsthand witnesses on how smoking destroys lives. The main objective of this study is to set a different course for education and prevention policies surrounding the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco.
In September 2018, JUUL received some heavy criticism from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing addictive products to teens. According to Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner, e-cigs have become a dangerous trend among teens. To back him up, recent research by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revealed the 8 out of every 10 high/middle school students are regularly exposed to advertising.
All in all, the grant from JUUL, no matter how “small,” wouldn’t have come at a better time when the world is seeking a fully independent finding on this vital area of public health. We’re eagerly waiting for the final results from this JUUL teen vaping study. Your guess is definitely as good as mine!