Altria buys stake in JUUL: What it means

Altria buys stake in JUUL: What it means

  By Betsy Brock Research Director Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, recently purchased a stake in JUUL, the company that manufactures the wildly popular e-cigarette with the same name. JUUL controls approximately 70 percent of the e-cigarette market. The company started in 2015 and is valued at $38 billion. JUUL’s stated mission is to “improve the lives of the world’s one billion smokers by eliminating cigarettes.” The company’s merger with Altria, the country’s largest cigarette company, calls this mission into question. It is hard to understand how a company can strive to eliminate cigarettes from the marketplace while partnering with a company that controls the largest cigarette market share in the U.S. Altria paid $12.8 billion for a 35 percent ownership stake in JUUL. As a part of this agreement, Altria agreed to adopt and support the JUUL mission, provide JUUL with premier tobacco product retail shelf space, allow JUUL to communicate with consumers via cigarette pack inserts and marketing databases, allow JUUL to remain in control, apply logistics and distribution experience to help JUUL, and provide funds that benefit JUUL employees and investors. This agreement means JUUL will have access to Altria’s vast and substantial marketing networks. Altria typically controls the most valuable and noticeable shelf space behind convenience store cash registers on the so-called tobacco “power wall.” Further, Altria has a consumer marketing database with an estimated 25 million names. JUUL is taking other steps to expand their reach. They recently hired a full-time lobbyist who is based in Minnesota. The lobbyist who has extensive experience lobbying for the medical device industry will lead lobbying efforts...
Brooklyn Center 16th to raise tobacco sales age to 21; also restricts sale of e-cigarettes

Brooklyn Center 16th to raise tobacco sales age to 21; also restricts sale of e-cigarettes

  Brooklyn Center became the latest city in Minnesota to protect its youth when the City Council unanimously voted to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 on Nov. 12, 2018. The city also restricted the sale of all electronic delivery devices to adult-only tobacco stores as a way to impact the growing trend of e-cigarette use among youth by making the products less accessible and less appealing to young people. Brooklyn Center made a similar cutting-edge move when it became the first in Minnesota to set a minimum price for cigars in 2014. Additionally, the city capped the number of tobacco licenses, increased the number of annual compliance checks and increased the administrative penalties for stores that violate the provisions of the ordinances. Three council members talked of losing family members to tobacco-related illnesses, and all who spoke during the meeting expressed strong support for the measures. Brooklyn Center is the 16th city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, Saint Peter, Richfield, Roseville, Minnetonka, Excelsior, Lauderdale and Hermantown have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Also, there is one county, Otter Tail, that has raised the age. Many community members showed up in support of this life-saving ordinance. Several community members and students shared stories of personal loss from tobacco use and nicotine addiction. Jess Nolan, who lives in Brooklyn Center and works for the American Heart Association, urged the council to prevent this generation from having stories of loss because of tobacco use. “I was only in elementary school...
Minnetonka 12th T21 City in MN

Minnetonka 12th T21 City in MN

  Minnetonka jointed the momentum to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. It became the latest city in the Metro when the City Council unanimously voted to raise the tobacco sales age to 21 on Sept. 17. “This is one of the easiest votes I’ve cast,” council member Tim Bergstedt said. “We are making a decision that will change lives.” Minnetonka is the 12th city in Minnesota to raise the tobacco sales age to 21. Edina, Saint Louis Park, Bloomington, Plymouth, North Mankato, Falcon Heights, Shoreview, Minneapolis, Saint Peter, Richfield and Roseville have also raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Jerry Levine, a resident and advocate, said during a July 23 hearing, “I understand that we have made progress on preventing people from smoking cigarettes, but the tobacco industry is clever. New products like e-cigarettes are addicting the next generation, and thus youth tobacco rates are rising. We can’t let this happen here in our community.” Many community members showed up in support of this life-saving ordinance. Several community members and students shared stories of personal loss from tobacco use and nicotine addiction. They urged the council to support the ordinance to prevent another generation from suffering the same fate. Hopkins High senior Kaitlyn Ziegler spoke about the prevalence of vaping among her classmates. “It has become a part of school culture to vape at events and on social media,” Ziegler said. Said council member Patty Acomb, “I’m proud of the young people advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers.” Youth e-cigarette use has increased nearly 50 percent in the past three years, according to the...
Day at the Capitol 2016

Day at the Capitol 2016

Many advocates joined ANSR at the State Capitol in Saint Paul on May 3, 2016, for the Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation “Tobacco is Still a Problem” Day. These advocates learned about top tobacco-control issues, and then met with their respective legislators to educate them on these issues. Here are some of the photos from the day. <►>Seventeen youth from Tartan High's Students Against Destructive Decisions group and John Glenn Middle School's Support Our School group attended the Capitol and participated in discussions with their...
Kick Butts Day 2016

Kick Butts Day 2016

<►>John Glenn Middle School students put up this cup sign letting everyone know how dangerous tobacco is     March 16 marked yet another Kick Butts Day, and thousands of youth, teachers and health advocates in the United States spoke up against the tobacco industry. Locally, ANSR worked with two schools from ISD #622, as well as the ALMAS group at Henry Sibley High. ANSR also partnered with Minneapolis MAD DADS and Southside Urban Coalition for a Quit Cold Turkey event in Minneapolis. The various groups took a stand against being targeted by the industry. John Glenn Middle School and Tartan Senior High participated in events for ISD 622. The ALMAS (Anglos Latinos Motivated to Succeed) are in Mendota Heights. Youth at ISD 622 schools educated their peers on the dangers of tobacco, including flavored tobacco.  Students learned about the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. Students at John Glenn signed postcards to the Saint Paul City Council, thanking them for restricting the sale of flavored tobacco. In Minneapolis, the groups encouraged people to trade in their pack of cigarettes for a turkey sandwich. There was a live radio remote on KMOJ-FM promoting the event and discussing the dangers of smoking. There was live music during the event. The event educated the public about the benefits of quitting smoking. The event featured numerous giveaways for participants and also touted the latest contest sponsored by QuitPlan Services, the state’s help line to quit...
Ramsey County regulates e-cigarettes, adds public entrances setback

Ramsey County regulates e-cigarettes, adds public entrances setback

  The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners continued its strong leadership regarding the health and safety of its residents when it voted 6-1 on Sept. 22, to include electronic cigarettes in its clean indoor air policy and prohibit use of e-cigarettes and cigarettes within 25 feet of building entrances. By including e-cigarettes in the clean indoor air policy, county leaders have established use of e-cigarettes will not be allowed anywhere conventional cigarettes are not allowed, such as work places, bars and restaurants. In 2005, Ramsey County showed leadership in passing one of the state’s first smoking bans for bars and restaurants. Two years later, the Minnesota legislature enacted the statewide Freedom to Breathe law, protecting all Minnesotans from the harms of secondhand smoke. “Ramsey County has taken a stand to ensure our residents, workers and visitors aren’t needlessly exposed to tobacco and e-cigarette use when they are in indoor public spaces, or simply entering and leaving buildings,” said Jim McDonough, Chair of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners. “Hopefully, the state will follow suit and recognize the need to protect all Minnesotans from the harms of secondhand smoke and e-cigarette emissions.” In addition to McDonough, Commissioner Blake Huffman, Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire and Commissioner Rafael Ortega spoke up in support of the ordinance. Commissioner Huffman lauded the “wonderfully diverse” community advocates who spoke at the public hearing on Sept. 8, while Commissioner McGuire concurred. Commissioner Ortega addressed the adverse health impact of electronic cigarettes, which emit an aerosol laced with nicotine, harmful chemicals and metal particles. “The bottom line is if there is any uncertainty about the impact it...
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