November 19, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

How Juul used tobacco industry research to design its highly addictive product

LA Times reporter Emily Baumgaertner dug through documents that the FDA obtained from Juul as part of its investigation of the company to write an excellent article, "Juul wanted to revolutionize vaping. It took a page from Big Tobacco’s chemical formulas."  She shows how James Monsees and Adam Bowen, the two guys who came up with Juul, used the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, RJR patents and other materials to come up with the idea of using nicotine salts to develop their highly addictive product.

Lauren Lempert and I put in a FOIA for the material that the FDA obtained from Juul.  While the FDA only released a tiny fraction of the material they have -- citing the need to protect Juul's trade secrets for witholding the rest -- Baumgaertner found a lot of important material in what was released.

We have put the materials the FDA provided us in a collection in the Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, which is available here.  FDA is still providing more documents, which we will add to the collection as they come in.

In the meantime, everyone should read Emily's great story.

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