Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Juul's campaign to convince America it does not target kids to vape is getting crushed by lawmakers, attorney generals and the media. The backlash is wicked — and widespread: 

Driving the news: Attorneys general from Illinois and Washington, D.C. are launching new investigations into Juul, and how the company's e-cigarettes became so popular with young people, reports AP. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a formal warning on Friday against the broad use of e-cigarettes and recommended users avoid buying bootlegged vaping products.

  • The Connecticut attorney general announced an investigation into Juul's health claims and appeal to young people.
  • In May, North Carolina's attorney general sued Juul "for designing, marketing, and selling its e-cigarettes to attract young people."
  • A year ago, the attorney general from Massachusetts launched a probe into accusations that Juul markets and sells to minors. [Corrects date]
  • The Trump administration has followed up tough talk with real action, Axios' Sam Baker tells me: The FDA is still moving forward with tight limits on e-cigarette sales, even over the objections of conservatives who say it's too much regulation from a Republican administration.
  • On April, 11 Democratic senators (including Elizabeth Warren) sent Juul a letter demanding data and documents about "hooking an entire new generation" via its "highly addictive nicotine." Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the lead senator on the letter, wasn't satisfied by Juul's 22-page response, and continued to blast Juul's "PR campaign."

Juul is asking policymakers to distinguish between its past and present.

  • Juul CEO Kevin Burns wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in March that after FDA objections, "we stopped the sale of flavored Juul pods to traditional retail stores, enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance, and exited our Facebook and Instagram accounts."

But I continue to hear horror stories from parents and teachers about the vaping "epidemic" in middle and high schools — and administrators' helplessness in curtailing e-cigarettes in their halls, bathrooms and classrooms.

  • Why it matters: No sooner had cigarettes become decisively uncool when a sleek new nicotine delivery device started captivating our kids.
  • Along with Fortnite and other screen issues, "Juuling" has become a leading topic for parent-teacher conversations.
  • Federal researchers said in December that in an annual survey of American teenagers, 21% of high-school seniors "said they had vaped within the past 30 days — about double the level from the year before," the N.Y. Times reported.
  • Juul has about 75% market share, based on Nielsen convenience store data.

A front-page article in Saturday's Washington Post reported that some teens refer to school bathrooms as "Juul rooms":

  • "As e-cigarettes have skyrocketed in popularity, ... pediatricians report seeing teens who behave less like tobacco users and more like patients with substance-abuse disorders."
  • Many e-cigarettes, "including Juul, allow users to ingest far more nicotine than they would with traditional cigarettes."

A devastating analogy in the Post story: "[E]ven though many teens assume e-cigarettes are safe, some turn up with signs of nicotine toxicity, a condition previously seen in young children who accidentally ingested nicotine gum."

  • "These kids have behaviors that we often see in patients who have opioid or marijuana addiction," Sharon Levy of Boston Children's Hospital told The Post.
  • Addiction treatment specialists told The Post that some kids resort "to stealing from their parents or selling e-cigarette paraphernalia to support their habits."

A congressional hearing last week explored parallels between marketing by Juul and Big Tobacco, with a Stanford expert testifying that Juul's "early marketing (2015-early 2016) was patently youth oriented."

  • Dr. Robert Jackler, a surgeon and Stanford professor who launched a group to study the impact of tobacco advertising, testified that Juul "saturated social media channels frequented by underage teens ... which led to viral peer to peer promotion ... on youth oriented social media, especially Instagram."
  • Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chair of the economic subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee, accused Juul of using "social media influencers to build a youth-oriented brand, making vaping a cultural phenomenon."

Juul's view ... James Monsees, co-founder and chief product officer of Juul, said in his opening statement at last week's congressional hearing:

  • "When minors use our product, far from benefiting our business, it causes direct harm. Indeed, the single biggest risk to our company is that unabated growth in underage usage will cause us to lose our ability to reach our true intended market of adult smokers."

In a response for this article, Juul's Ted Kwong told Axios: "JUUL Labs exists to help adult smokers switch from combustible cigarettes, which are still the leading cause of preventable death in the world and we do not want non-nicotine users to buy JUUL products. We share these serious concerns about youth vaping."

Go deeper: Juul exploring opening its own store

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

11 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!