Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Big Tobacco Lies. So Does Juul." ... And So Does Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights

A July 11 column by the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation (ANRF) is entitled "Big Tobacco Lies. So Does Juul." A large image shows a graduating college student with the quote: "We were literally going to be the first generation not addicted to nicotine. And then they made it taste like cotton candy and everyone is vaping and ADDICTED to nicotine."

The Rest of the Story

The headline should more appropriately say: "Big Tobacco Lies. So Does Juul. And So Does the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation."

ANRF is lying here because they are implying that Juul created cotton candy-flavored e-cigarettes which have attracted youth and gotten large numbers of them addicted to nicotine. However, there's just one problem with that assertion ...

... Juul does not make cotton candy-flavored pods.

The truth is that it is not cotton candy-flavored products that have gotten youth addicted to vaping. In fact, the cotton candy products are not particularly addictive, and if youth were actually using cotton candy vapes, they would most likely not be addicted to nicotine.

Moreover, the cotton candy flavors are not manufactured by either Juul or by any tobacco company.

It is also not true that the generation of students graduating from college now was going to be the first generation not addicted to nicotine. The prevalence of current smoking in 12th grade among this year's college graduating class was approximately 11%. While that's obviously much better than in the past, it is hardly a generation that is not addicted to nicotine.

So why is ANRF lying? Well, I guess it is more alarming and makes for a more shocking story to try to fool the public into thinking that Juul is targeting kids with cotton candy flavoring, and that deception helps with donations to the organization. Heck, if Juul was enticing kids with cotton candy e-liquids, I would donate because that is so obviously an attempt to appeal to youth.

It's a more shocking story, but it's not true. And I don't believe that the ends justifies the means. Lying in an effort to enhance the story to solicit more donations is not justified. Especially in a column that is criticizing the tobacco industry and Juul for ...

... lying!

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