Globally, over one billion adults smoke combustible cigarettes and the resulting morbidity and mortality is a public health crisis. In the US alone, nearly 16 million people have a smoking-related disease and almost half a million deaths a year are attributed to cigarette consumption. On average, smokers die ten years earlier than non-smokers.1
JUUL Labs strongly supports the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) efforts to help adult smokers reduce cigarette consumption, including switching to potentially less harmful products, while also preventing youth nicotine use.
FDA officials and international regulatory bodies have recognized that ENDS products may offer the potential to substantially reduce some of the most harmful effects observed from combustible products. In fact, FDA has stated:
Nicotine is delivered through products posing a continuum of risk. This ranges from combusted cigarettes on one end, to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products.. at the other.3
“Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths every single year. In addition to the devastating human toll caused mainly by cigarette smoking, tobacco also causes substantial financial costs to society, with direct health care and lost productivity costs totaling nearly $300 billion a year.
A key piece of the FDA’s approach is demonstrating a greater awareness that nicotine – while highly addictive – is delivered through products that represent a continuum of risk and is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes.”2
The American Cancer Society also recognizes the potential that ENDS Products have for those unwilling to quit.
“Some smokers, despite firm clinician advice, will not attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and will not use FDA approved cessation medications. These individuals should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products.”4
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently reviewed the available scientific evidence on ENDS products and identified key research questions:
“The net public health effect, harm or benefit, of e-cigarettes depends on three factors: their effect on youth initiation of combustible tobacco products, their effect on adult cessation of combustible tobacco products, and their intrinsic toxicity.”
“The evidence … suggests that e-cigarette aerosol contains fewer numbers and lower levels of toxicants than smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes. Nicotine exposure can mimic that found with use of combustible tobacco cigarettes, but is highly variable. However, the exposure to nicotine and toxicants from the aerosolization of flavorings and humectants is dependent on user and device characteristics.”
“Factors that would maximize potential health benefits associated with these products include determining with more precision whether and under which conditions e-cigarettes could serve as an effective smoking cessation aid, discouraging their use among youth through standard tobacco control strategies such as education and access restrictions, and increasing their safety through data-driven product engineering and design.”5
JUUL Labs supports reasonable regulation driven by evidence-based science. We strive to provide important data to answer the key regulatory and public health questions regarding ENDS, including questions regarding usage patterns and exposure levels associated with use.
Specifically, JUUL Labs is collecting scientific evidence from pre-clinical, clinical, and behavioral research studies regarding: