JUUL’s mission is simple – to improve the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers by providing the first true alternative to combustible cigarettes.
It’s a simple but powerful north star that guides us through the challenges that surround our category and our company. We are driven by the huge opportunity in front of us – finding a solution to the number one source of preventable death in the world – cigarette smoking. Through all of these challenges, we will listen to our critics. We are not perfect. We are constantly learning and getting better at what we do.
We have made huge progress and are showing unprecedented signs of success in our mission:
As we have said before, our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products. But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. As a result, we recently began implementing a number of actions to prevent underage vaping, including stopping the sales of flavored products to retail stores, enhancing age-verification for our online sales, eliminating social media accounts, and developing further technology solutions.
Today, we have been joined by an unlikely – and seemingly counterintuitive – investor in our journey. Altria today announced a minority investment of $12.8 billion into JUUL for a 35% ownership in the company along with services to accelerate our mission. We understand the controversy and skepticism that comes with an affiliation and partnership with the largest tobacco company in the US. We were skeptical as well. But over the course of the last several months we were convinced by actions, not words, that in fact this partnership could help accelerate our success switching adult smokers. We understand the doubt. We doubted as well. We made it very clear that any investment would need to meet demanding and specific criteria to ensure that they are committed to our mission:
As a result, we are excited about the opportunity presented by Altria, its investment and service agreements. We are fully committed to our mission and our values. We know we need to earn trust and prove that this partnership may provide the opportunity to improve upon our early successes and better equip us to tackle the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. When you take a step back, our success ultimately depends on our ability to get our product in the hands of adult smokers and out of the hands of youth. When adult smokers try it, it works. And, the impact is life-changing. This investment and service agreements helps us do just that.