The full-page April 4 Times Argus ad for Juul raises serious health and ethical issues. While Juul claims to be promoting smoking cessation with their nicotine vaping device, they are, in fact, substituting one form of nicotine addiction for another. According to Wikipedia’s article, “Juul's marketing has been the focus of two lawsuits filed against the company since April 2018. The suits, both filed in California, claim that Juul was deceptively marketed as safe even though a Juul pod contains as much nicotine as an average pack of cigarettes.”

In December 2018, Altria, formerly Phillip Morris, bought a 35-percent share in Juul for $12.8 billion. This ad is part of a $10 million advertising campaign to promote these devices as an alternative to smoking. In fact, a user may be taking in three times the nicotine by switching to a vaping device.

Use of Juul and other similar devices has increased nicotine use by youth, and may actually increase the likelihood that a youthful user will go on to smoke. Altria says on its website, in a statement it was required to make by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that “… nicotine actually changes the brain.”

Juul and its investor, Altria, are looking for ways to attract youth and to keep smokers addicted. It’s doubtful that any medical smoking cessation program would recommend Juul. To take money for this misleading, deceptive ad is unethical.

George Longenecker

Middlesex

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