Just when I’ve been craving a few good hits of a Juul now more than ever, it appears that the company is failing to secure overseas markets, meaning things are not boding well for the only vape I’ve ever loved.
While Juul was hit with strict regulations in the U.S., it was expected that the company would still find success overseas, much in the way American tobacco companies did decades ago, the New York Times reports. But instead, Juul has been met with “ferocious anti-vaping sentiment and a barrage of newly enacted e-cigarette restrictions, or outright bans, in country after country. As a result, its ambitious overseas plans have collapsed.” From the Times:
Juul was kicked off the market in China last fall after just four days. The company has had to abandon plans for India after the government there banned all electronic cigarettes. Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Laos have also closed the door to e-cigarettes. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of anyone caught vaping outside designated smoking areas.
Juul has also postponed its launch in the Netherlands, pulled out of Israel and Indonesia, and lost customers in South Korea following health warnings from the government.
“It has been an extraordinarily quick backlash,” said Kathleen Hoke, director of the Network for Public Health Law at the University of Maryland. “Countries that you wouldn’t necessarily describe as progressive public health nations are attacking this new product so that it doesn’t become embedded in their culture as cigarettes have.”
As in the U.S., much of the overseas backlash is thanks to the perception that the company targets young people and non-smokers. (As a non-smoker who would throw her laptop out her window for just one puff of a cucumber pod right now, I can say that at least in the latter case there...may be some truth to that.)
“We have enough problems with cigarettes and now we have 9-year-olds vaping because they think it’s fun,” Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, executive director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, who lives in Manila, told the Times. “More than half our population is under 30. The last thing we need is for young people to get hooked on vaping.”
I get it. I get it. I do. But also, where’s my fucking Juul.