August 4, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Juul runs full page ad in SF Chronicle claiming its initiative doesn’t repeal the ban of flavored ecigs

Juul seems pretty unhappy that independent legal experts are decoding the obscure legal language in Section 19N.5-6(a) of the Juul initiative that would replace all existing e-cig regulations in San Francisco with rules written by Juul, including exempting e-cigarettes from the ban on the sale of candy-flavored e-cigarettes that voters overwhelmingly supported when they passed Proposition E (with 68% voting for the ban) in June 2018.

As I have pointed out before, if all Juul wanted to do was overturn San Francisco’s law saying that it and other e-cig companies could not sell their products until they were granted an FDA authorization to sell them, Juul could have written a much simpler initiative that just nullified that law.

They didn’t to that.  Juul’s lawyers carefully prepared legal language that requires other lawyers to decode.  Moreover, Juul could have included language to, as its ad in the SF Chronicle says “keep the City’s flavor ban.”  They didn’t do that either.

Juul also ignores the fact that they could have avoided the City’s “ban” on selling e-cigs that are not authorize by the FDA by simply submitting a successful application to the FDA.

Indeed, Juul could have applied to the FDA for market authorization 3 years ago.  Because the FDA had committed to finishing reviews in one year, Juul could already have the marketing order San Francisco city law calls for a year ago (assuming they could convince the FDA that allowing sale of Juul was “appropriate for the protection of public health). 

Rather than putting in a timely application to the FDA, Juul is spending money to avoid San Francisco’s requirement that they win FDA approval to keep selling their e-cigarettes in San Francisco.

As David Kessler, the former FDA commissioner (and someone who had an optimistic view of e-cigs before Juul), said the only way for Juul to keep kids from using them would be to fundamentally redesign the product so it wasn’t so appealing to kids.

Instead, they are putting their money into sneaking a sweeping initiative filled with obscure legal language that protects Juul’s ability to keep selling flavored e-cigs to kids, as well as overturn or neutralize other regulations.

Do they really think that the voters will believe that Juul really wants to keep kids – a key to their sales – from buying their products?

I don’t.

Here is the ad, which is in the front section of the Sunday August 4, 2019 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle.


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