- E-cigarette giant Juul said it would no longer support a San Francisco ballot measure to overturn the city’s anti-vaping law.
- Juul donated almost $19 million to the measure, Prop C, and was the chief financial backer for the proposition.
- In June, San Francisco became the first major US city to enact an ordinance banning the sale of e-cigarettes and vape products not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Juul has faced controversy in recent weeks: the company’s former CEO stepped down last week, and the Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors in California had launched a criminal investigation into the company.
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The e-cigarette company Juul will no longer support a San Francisco ballot measure that, if approved, would overturn the city’s anti-vaping law.
Juul, which is based in San Francisco and partly owned by the tobacco company Altria, had donated almost $19 million to that measure, Prop C, before calling it quits. The vaping giant was the proposition’s main financial backer, according to the Associated Press. Despite that, Prop C will still appear on the ballot in early November.
The proposition was introduced following the city’s June ordinance to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vape products that weren’t reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration – the first major US city to enact such a measure. City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Supervisor Shamann Walton described the legislation as an effort to protect youth in response to escalating vape usage among children and teenagers, and various health organizations have come forward to oppose the current ballot initiative.
Juul’s newly appointed CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, formerly an Altria executive, said in a Monday statement that “I am committed to seeing that JUUL engages productively with all stakeholders, including regulators, policymakers, and our customers.”
“JUUL Labs remains as committed as ever to our goal of improving the lives of the world’s one billion smokers while keeping our products out of the hands of youth through strong-category wide regulation,” he added.
- Sarah Johnson/ Flickr
Juul announced last week that the former CEO Kevin Burns had stepped down and that it would be “suspending all broadcast, print and digital product advertising in the US.”
Burn’s departure followed a report from The Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors in California had launched a criminal investigation into the company.
While Juul is no longer supporting Prop C, Larry Tramutola, who leads the No on Prop C campaign, told the AP that around $7 million in Juul’s campaign donations have yet to be spent.
“This could very well be yet another of a series of lies and exaggerations from Juul and Big Tobacco,” he said. “Until they return the $7 million unspent dollars that is in their political account, until they suspend their mail, their advertising, their paid phone calls and lay off their consultants, we do not believe them.”
Health officials in Nebraska announced the state’s first vaping-related death on Monday, according to CNN, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in the US to 14.
- Read more:
- Juul’s Silicon Valley marketing tactics are to blame for its troubles, longtime advertising exec Alex Bogusky says
- The precarious path of e-cig startup Juul: From Silicon Valley darling to $38 billion behemoth under criminal investigation
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