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With a new CEO and promised of 500 layoffs by Christmas, is JUUL the future of vaping or the past?

Arguably the world’s most profitable vapor company to date, Juul Labs has been a lightning rod for controversy almost since its inception. It’s affinity for manufacturing pod-style vaping devices that resemble USB drives and allow underage vapers to keep them hidden in plain sight from the prying eyes of parents and schoolteachers has been a significant driving factor behind its tremendous success.

However, news is now breaking that the JUUL organization expects to layoff some 500 employees by the end of the year after having just appointed a new CEO only one month ago.  News of the corporate downsizing also follows closely on the heels of another recent announcement that the company is pulling its entire inventory of specialty flavors from store shelves.

Related Article:   JUUL employees angered over Altria ‘deal with the devil’

This series of strange happenings may have been initiated by a rather bizarre press conference at the White House on September 11 where President Trump first announced his intentions to ban flavored vapor products nationwide.  While rumors of a possible softening were substantiated last weekend by Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, a Trump vape ban is still on the table for all flavors other than mint and menthol. 

JUUL appoints new CEO mid-September

Less than two weeks after the White House presser, CNN reported that old JUUL CEO Kevin Burns was out, and new CEO K.C. Crosthwaite was in.   The latter had previously worked as a “chief growth officer” for Big Tobacco’s The Altria Group which is now a major shareholder in JUUL.   On the very same day of this transitional announcement in upper management, JUUL also acknowledged that it would be suspending all advertising campaigns indefinitely.

The excuse given at the time was the then-currently breaking news story of a mysterious lung ailment apparently linked to vaping.  However, substantial evidence was already surfacing that the associated medical condition was likely attributed to the vaping of THC-containing products. Even today, zero medical diagnoses have been directly linked to the vaping of conventional, nicotine-based vapes. So, why did JUUL go ahead with the flavor recall?

Related Article:   JUUL pulls the plug on Facebook, Instagram activity; Twitter still active

Then comes the JUUL announcement of October 28 where CEO Crosthwaite says that the company plans to cut about 500 jobs before the end of the year.  This move also seems highly suspicious because JUUL has been on a hiring spree for most of 2019.  They only recently announced a temporary hiring freeze late last month. 

Why are all of these weird changes suddenly taking place at the San Francisco-based vapor company?  And what about all those JUUL-loving employees who are about to lose their jobs right before Christmas?

Would the death of JUUL be a good thing or a bad thing?

Many within the vapor community – average vapers who made the switch to help them quit smoking – would not feel terribly unhappy if JUUL decided to close its doors.  Many still suspect that if not for JUUL’s deviously deceptive designs of USB-inspired vaping devices and its propensity for targeting teenagers in its early advertising campaigns, the rest of the vaping industry might have maintained a healthier reputation among the non-vaping public.

Related Article:   Pigs must be flying at JUUL because it just banned workplace vaping

Vaping saves lives, and that’s a proven fact.  It’s also 95 percent less harmful than smoking, according to published research by Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.  Yet – somehow – a significant percentage of Americans now believe vaping to be even more dangerous than smoking. 

Is JUUL to blame for this grossly inaccurate public perception about vaping?  Maybe or maybe not, but it certainly made a ton of money from underage sales over the years. And that is the single issue pissing off state governors and congressional politicians on Capitol Hill.

One can’t help but wonder. If JUUL dies, will these ridiculous proposals for statewide and Trump-induced vaping bans die along it?

Related Article:   JUUL joins Altria by stopping sales of fruity vapes in brick-and-mortar venues

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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