SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.-The leading global electronic cigarette brand NJOY is calling on other companies in its new and burgeoning industry to adopt higher standards for preventing access to and use of electronic cigarettes by people under the legal age to smoke.
“Electronic cigarettes represent a smoking alternative for adult committed smokers,” said Jack Leadbeater, CEO of NJOY. “We have no interest in marketing or selling our products to underage smokers and have taken numerous steps over the years to prevent youth access to our products. We hope other members of our industry will act responsibly and either follow our lead or innovate even better methods to ensure proper product use.”
Though electronic cigarettes have a price point generally considered beyond the reach of most youth and there is not widespread evidence of the products being used by underage smokers, a number of pertinent issues have been raised regarding underage persons, such as the appeal of various flavors.
To address the flavor issue, NJOY is discontinuing in the U.S. the availability of all flavors except its traditional tobacco flavor and menthol. The move aligns the flavors offered by NJOY with those allowed for combustible tobacco cigarettes under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. NJOY expects its new flavor policy to be in full force throughout its U.S. distribution channels by spring 2010.
NJOY’s efforts to limit the appeal of its products to committed smokers of legal age to smoke and to safeguard underage users from acquiring its products do not end with its flavor policy. In fact, since NJOY first introduced electronic cigarettes to North America – and then other parts of the world – beginning a few years ago, it has taken a variety of steps including:
* The company has long required consumers of its web site to verify their age upon arrival to its site and during the ecommerce checkout process, and the company is looking into tying consumer information to national databases that can better assess a site visitor’s age.
* Retailers carrying the product are directed to comply with the strict sales restrictions for combustible tobacco cigarette products, including that the product be displayed behind the counter or in displays that are inaccessible without the help of a retail attendant.
* Independent distributors of NJOY products are required to sign contracts that bind them to making best efforts to market only to persons above the legal smoking age.
* NJOY product labeling clearly states that the product is intended for committed smokers of legal age to smoke, and encourages consumers to avoid smoking if they have not started.
* NJOY has begun selling its nicotine cartridges in childproof packaging in Europe, and plans to bring the same into the U.S. in 2010.
“No one can ever get 100% of consumers to comply with the intended use of its products all the time. For instance, the average combustible tobacco cigarette smoker begins at the age of 13, and 90 percent start before they turn 18 years old, despite all the valiant efforts to prevent underage smoking,” adds Leadbeater. “That said, I have kids and I don’t want them smoking, either. We’re committed to becoming a positive solution for society by not contributing to the underage issues and by giving committed smokers of legal age a better alternative to conventional tobacco products.”
Amy Linert, 480-529-8326