Steve Heilig, former co-chair, San Francisco Tobacco-Free Coalition

Ashley Gould of JUUL Labs is in denial in defending JUUL’s partnership with the world’s biggest marketer of toxic addicting tobacco.

Decades of tobacco industry deceit have taught us to follow the money rather than their words, and JUUL is now using messages and tactics remarkably similar to longtime tobacco propaganda. Can anybody truly believe Altria and JUUL want to reduce use of their products?

It is far wiser to trust research and experience, which increasingly show that youth are a prime market for nicotine addiction via any route, that converting to vaping leaves users still hooked on nicotine, that e-cigs are also harmful to one’s heart and lungs and expose bystanders to secondhand toxins, and more harmful impacts.

Small wonder that the tobacco and vaping industry fight so forcefully and spend so much against public health policies such as bans on flavored and menthol products. We need to watch what they do, not what they say.

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