Group includes experts on public health and tobacco use
Fourteen officials, including former attorneys general and public health experts, will advise JUUL Labs on how to keep its e-cigarette products out of the hands of young people.
The group is led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who recruited the bipartisan group, and includes former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. In April, JUUL Labs sought guidance from Miller, who has a long record of taking on the tobacco industry. As attorneys general, Miller and Nixon were involved in the $200 billion settlement with the tobacco industry in 1998.
The group will examine how to avoid the unintended consequences of attracting youth and non-smokers to nicotine products.
The group will convene as the focus grows on underage use of e-cigarettes. In June, the Centers for Disease Control released its 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey, showing that e-cigarettes are used by 11.7 percent of high school students surveyed and 3.3 percent of middle school students used e-cigarettes. That percentage has remained steady, however, and is below the peak use of e-cigarettes in 2015. Meanwhile, youth use of combustible cigarettes continues to fall, to 7.6 percent of high school students and 2.1 percent of middle school students.
The advisory group will meet several times this summer and create a set of recommendations for JUUL. The group will welcome any ideas that anyone has concerning practices JUUL should undertake to limit access to their e-cigarettes by kids.
JUUL announced in April that it will invest $30 million over the next three years for independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement.
Miller, the longest serving attorney general in the United States, will serve as chairman of the group. The group also comprises:
Thurbert Baker, former attorney general of Georgia
Clive Bates, director, Counterfactual Consulting, London, U.K.
Nathan Blake, deputy attorney general of Iowa
Bonnie Campbell, former attorney general of Iowa
Mike Cody, former attorney general of Tennessee
Terry Goddard, former attorney general of Arizona
Neil Hartigan, former attorney general of Illinois
Betty Montgomery, former attorney general of Ohio
Jay Nixon, former governor and attorney general of Missouri
Dr. Margaret Stager, director, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Donn Stanley, director of the Revenue Division, Iowa Attorney General's office
Dave Sweanor, chair of advisory board of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa, Canada
Grant Woods, former attorney general of Arizona
Relevant facts concerning JUUL usage:
According to the Truth Initiative, for 12-to-17-year-olds:
- 6.5 percent (one in 16) used JUUL in their lifetime;
- 5.6 percent (one in 19) used JUUL at least once in the last 30 days;
If kids used JUUL in the same manner as other e-cigarettes, daily use by kids would be one in 200, based on surveys by the Centers for Disease Control.