As part of our ongoing collaboration with regulators and other key stakeholders, Juul Labs met with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reaffirm its support for the swift nationwide implementation and enforcement of Tobacco 21. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) final rule updating its regulations to conform to Tobacco 21 is currently pending review by the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).
In our efforts to earn trust and reset the vapor category, combating underage use is the company’s highest priority and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the importance of evidence-based interventions in our efforts to address underage use.
We believe that Tobacco 21 is one of the most critical tobacco-control strategies to combat underage use. That is because it directly addresses social sourcing, the largest contributor to underage access of vapor products throughout the country. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that social sourcing accounts for roughly 70 to 80 percent of underage vapor use. By ensuring all necessary federal and state resources are being used to implement Tobacco 21 nationwide, we have the potential to significantly reduce underage use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Furthermore, the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showed a significant decline in underage use of vapor products. Given the survey was fielded between January and March 2020, following widespread implementation of Tobacco 21 policies, Tobacco 21 was likely a significant driver of the reduction in underage vaping seen in the survey results. While we are encouraged by this recent decline, Juul Labs believes more can and should be done to accelerate the decline in underage use of vapor products.
The OMB meeting allowed Juul Labs to offer insights on ways to further drive down underage use. In light of some states not having increased the minimum-purchasing age to 21, we provided ideas to support the nationwide implementation and enforcement of Tobacco 21 at the state level. In addition, we provided information on additional access controls that can be adopted category-wide and a potentially powerful tool to accelerate the decline in underage use. While Tobacco 21 will have a significant effect, particularly on social sourcing, we believe ensuring compliance with age-verification requirements is critical to effectively address underage use.
As part of our discussion, Juul Labs submitted the following materials for public record:
Information about the meeting can also be found here on the OMB website.
Juul Labs believes the national Tobacco 21 can serve as a centerpiece of what can become a comprehensive implementation of evidence-based tobacco-control strategies to address underage use. Beyond nationwide implementation of T21, ensuring effective enforcement with the new minimum-purchasing age will be imperative. Additionally, given advancements in the retail marketplace for the sale of age-restricted products, we believe FDA and other stakeholders can fundamentally change how vapor products are sold to further restrict underage access and accelerate the decline in underage use.
Juul Labs remains committed to resetting the vapor category and working cooperatively with key stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes. As part of that process, the company reduced its product portfolio, halted television, print, and digital product advertising and submitted a Premarket Tobacco Product Application to the FDA, including comprehensive scientific evidence to support the harm reduction potential of its products and data-driven measures to address underage use.