Earlier this month, Juul Labs announced a new model of their flagship pod vape device, complete with bluetooth connectivity and electronic security measures. Due to restrictive new FDA oversight on ENDS being introduced to the US market, Juul initially opted to test the device in more lax European Markets, and in Israel.
A Sudden Change
Unfortunately for the vape market leader, last week, Israel’s Heath Ministry issued a statement banning Juul sales in the country. The ministry cited the device’s high nicotine concentration – over 20 milligrams per milliliter – as the primary reason for their decision. Authorities claim the device “posed a serious danger to public health.” Claiming the ban “constitutes an improper procedure that will not withstand any examination of correct administrative procedures,” Juul’s attorneys responded outright with a statement expressing their disappointment. From there, Juul’s further response took a legal turn.
Juul Fights Back
Juul Labs formally submitted a petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice. In their 60+ page document, the vape manufacturer claims they were unfairly targeted for months prior to the decision, while competitors who make similar products had not received the same scrutiny or restriction. The company also noted the peculiarity of learning about the ban only through news outlets, instead of directly from the Ministry of Health. Juul included a statement with the petition that cites the profession positions of two professors at Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak. The professors argue that Juul pod vapes do not carry the same cancer risks as their combustible tobacco counterpart – the cigarette. The Ministry of Health has not come out to contradict their statements.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Juul is currently valued at $15 billion. Across the globe where available, this single pod vape manufacturer owns majority market share. An estimated 9 million or so Americans currently use Juul pod vapes as a smoking alternative. And, while research on the product is relatively young, continued study suggests vapes are 95% less harmful than cigarettes.
The Juul and its major competitors have earned status as healthy smoking alternatives. The company is still reeling, though, from negative press regarding the rising trend in teens using their product. Recently, Juul announced a $30 million campaign to combat underage use. Executives have issued statements on the company’s commitment to keeping their products out of the wrong hands.
Despite Juul working to maintain a good image, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed with the Health Ministry’s assessment and has signed the ban. It goes into effect September 3rd.