Big Tobacco and JUUL should go the way of Toys R Us

Big Tobacco and JUUL should go the way of Toys R Us

Unless you’re living in a cave, kids over 5 are no longer interested in toys, unless they are electronic.

Altria (NYSE:MO) was recently downgraded by Morgan Stanley, which lowered its price target to $45.00 a share from $54.00

The makers of Marlboro knew what they were doing when they allowed JUUL to do their dirty work.  JUUL labs took advantage of lax F.D.A. rules on E-cigs to use social media like Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Instagram and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to market nicotine to your kids, continuing the cycle of addiction and possible health care problems. 

According to the council on chemical abuse, research has shown that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, and JUUL has some of the highest concentration nicotine pods on the market.

It’s no surprise that PAX Labs operates in San Francisco, where skirting existing laws is somehow viewed as innovation. One only has to look at how UBER and LFYT also circumvented laws designed to keep them from operating to see how this would play out. Marketing an addictive drug to your children that resembles smoking isn’t illegal, so don’t worry, its safe and it’s just pretend smoking.

Using sleek colors and young attractive people in their ads, JUUL made smoking cool again with a sleek USB pod design that can easily be hidden from parents, teachers and anyone else looking for the E-Cig. JUUL is odorless, and flavored like candy. JUUL is created on the hypothesis that it is a safe effective non smoke smoking device. As you probably know, Lung cancer was a very rare disease, but thanks to mass marketing, in the early 1900’s, cigarettes popularity increased and caused a global lung cancer epidemic. In the 1940’s, big tobacco used several “denial” marketing campaigns to continue pushing its deadly product onto the public and was successful until the rules changed in 1965.

JUUL is already using denial tactics and a marketing strategy based on how safe vaping is to capitalize on young ignorant people who want to look cool. No one knows the long term effects of vaping, or the lasting effects of such high concentrated dosages of nicotine. It’s foolish to replay a slightly different version of the same health crisis, based on ignorance and false marketing information.

The ads used by JUUL are modeled after the early cigarette industry, with the same hot young women or men stereotypes, holding a JUUL stick, wearing hip clothes, bright backdrops and big smiles. Cigarettes are, of course, banned from using these types of ads and come with a warning label detailing the ways they kill. JUUL made their design to hook people and circumvent the laws already in place.

The F.D.A. is already investigating the company and, long term, one can expect lawyers, and others, to sue this company for its early advertising practices and business model.  Perhaps, the lawsuits are already baking into their model?

JUUL took the most addictive part of the cigarette and put it into a tiny pod. One pod is equal to 20 real cigs worth of nicotine. Kids, who would have smoked a few cigs a day, are now using 2 pods a day of pure nicotine because of the non-smelling, flavored JUUL. In a cruel twist, we may find that kids need to start smoking cigarettes to wean themselves off the heavy nicotine dose of JUULing.

The CDC estimates that 450,000 people in the United States die each year from Tabaco use, and www.tobaccoatlas.org estimates that there are 7.1 million deaths from smoking related deaths in the world annually. Since the warning labels went on the packages, in 1965, 385 million smoking related deaths attributed to companies like (NYSE:MO) (NYSE:PM) have killed more people than all of the wars combined.

In today’s environment with #metoo and the social justice warriors tearing down the statues of Robert E Lee, companies who prey on the young to create an addicted user base should count their days.

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