Juul, the e-cig maker started at Stanford, watches its US market share get vaporized – TechCrunch

Juul, the e-cig maker started at Stanford, watches its US market share get vaporized – TechCrunch

It’s almost Shakespearean.

Juul, the e-cigarette company that took the U.S. by storm five years ago — and which was valued at its peak at $38 billion — is about to get kicked out of the country, according to the WSJ. Per the outlet’s report earlier today, the Food & Drug Administration could announce as early as today that the San Francisco-based outfit is no longer allowed to sell its products in the U.S.

The “marketing denial order,” writes the WSJ, would follow a nearly two-year review of data presented by Juul, which in 2019 said it was suspending all print, broadcast and digital advertising in the United States after parents around the country complained that their children were becoming exposed to — and addicted to —  Juul’s products.

The company also agreed to stop selling its sweetly flavored e-liquid pods, including its fruit, creme, mango and cucumber flavors.

Since that time, Juul — which sold a 35% stake in its business to tobacco giant Altria in 2018 for $12.8 billion — has spent millions of dollars to lobby the federal government in the hopes of continuing to sell its tobacco- and menthol-flavored products on the U.S. market.

According to a New York Times report last summer, Juul also submitted a 125,000-page application to the agency; shelled out $40 million to settle just one lawsuit; and paid $51,000 to have the entire May/June 2021 issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior devoted to 11 studies that were funded by the company and aimed to show that Juul products help smokers quit traditional cigarettes.

Juul, which was facing thousands of lawsuits until they were combined into multidistrict litigation overseen by a single federal judge, also agreed to pay $22.5 million in April to settle a lawsuit brought by Washington state that alleged the company intentionally targeted teenagers with its products and deceived users about the addictiveness of its products.

As reported at the time, under the terms of the settlement, Juul admitted no wrongdoing or liability, saying it settled “for the purpose of compromising” and to avoid further litigation (litigation that could hamper the headway it hoped to make with the FDA.)

Evidently, all that effort was too little and came too late, even while the FDA will apparently allow Juul’s biggest rivals, Reynolds American and NJOY Holdings to keep selling their own tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes on the market.

Assuming its days in the U.S. are over, the chapter bookends an incredible ride for the now seven-year-old company, which had easily won upward of 75% of the e-cigarette market in the U.S. by its third year in business, thanks in large part to the sleek design of its nicotine vaporizer.

Indeed, in 2018, it was reportedly on track to see at least $1 billion in revenue and had the backing of deep-pocketed investors, including Tiger Global and Fidelity Investments, money it planned to spend internationally to capture …….

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2022/06/22/juul-the-high-flying-e-cig-maker-started-at-stanford-watches-its-u-s-market-share-get-vaporized/