JUUL Labs today announced findings from seven behavioral studies examining youth prevalence and perception of vapor products, including JUUL, and variables impacting adult smokers who successfully switch from combustible cigarettes to JUUL products. The findings were presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) in San Francisco. The posters presented included:
One survey, conducted between September 21and October 3, 2018, assessed awareness and use of JUUL products, other e-cigarettes, and combustible cigarettes among a probabilistic sample of 1,015 U.S. adolescents aged 13-17 years. The representative survey found that the majority of participants had never seen or heard of JUUL products, while less than 5% of participants reported using a JUUL product in the past 30 days, and less than 0.3% reported frequent use (defined as use on more than 20 of the past 30 days).
Another survey, conducted between November 23 and December 13, 2018, assessed patterns of use, intentions to use, and perception of JUUL, other e-cigarettes, and combustible cigarettes among a non-probabilistic sample of 9,872 U.S. adolescents aged 13-17 years. To be eligible for the survey, respondents must have heard of or seen JUUL products, in an effort to better understand use and perception patterns of this subset of the population.
Participants who identified themselves as JUUL users were asked the first pod flavor they ever used in a JUUL vaporizer and the pod flavors they had used with a JUUL vaporizer in the past 30 days. They were provided a list containing the eight flavors manufactured and sold by JUUL Labs (known as “JUULpods”), and 28 flavors not manufactured or sold by JUUL Labs, such as Iced Pina Colada and Watermelon. The U.S. vapor-based e-cigarette market now includes not only a large number of illegal, unlicensed JUUL-plug-compatible products (cartridges that are not manufactured, licensed by or sold by JUUL Labs, but said to be compatible with the JUUL ENDS vaporizer system), but also pod-based systems designed to look closely like the JUUL system.
Self-reported ever-users of a JUUL vaporizer were more likely to have reported having initiated use of a JUUL vaporizer with a pod flavor not manufactured by JUUL Labs (54.0%) than with a pod flavor manufactured by JUUL Labs (31.2%). Additionally, for current users (use within the past 30 days), they were as likely to have reported having used a pod flavor manufactured by JUUL Labs as a pod flavor marketed by one of these other manufacturers. The survey did not capture what percentage of reported use of a pod flavor manufactured by JUUL Labs was from plug-compatible products offered in JUUL flavors versus products actually manufactured by JUUL Labs. Survey participants were also significantly more likely to report having initiated use with a pod containing a non-tobacco/menthol/mint flavor (58.7%) than a tobacco flavor (5.6%) or menthol/mint flavor (20.9%).
“These behavioral studies provide valuable insight into youth prevalence and perception of all vapor products, including JUUL products, and further illustrate the importance of category-wide action to restrict access from youth, including clearing the market of illegally marketed products,” said Kevin Burns, Chief Executive Officer at JUUL Labs. “As we have said before, the data demonstrates that we must take decisive action, which is why last November we launched a comprehensive action plan to combat underage use. Despite the significant actions we have taken to limit the availability of all JUUL products to adults, youth continue to have access to and use a variety of other products, including illegal JUUL-compatible flavored products that are not manufactured or sold by JUUL Labs. We remain committed to leading our category to address youth access and use of vapor products, while simultaneously fulfilling our mission to eliminate cigarettes among adult smokers across the globe.”
About the Studies
Juul Labs, Inc. commissioned and funded the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) to independently design and administer the youth prevalence and perception surveys, and analyze and report the study results. CSUR developed the study protocol, created the survey instrument, drafted the informed consent forms, and obtained approval from an institutional review board. Parental consent was obtained for all participants. Juul Labs did not see the raw data or exert control over the study.
For more information on the data presented at SRNT 2019, please visit jliscience.com.