Move Places Company Closer To Regulators Making Lobbying Easier
Embattled vapor company Juul Labs has been engulfed in controversy following investigations, lawsuits, and regulatory crackdowns over their marketing practices allegedly targeting teens. Following announcements of expected layoffs and considerations to exit multiple international markets, the company has also decided to move their corporate headquarters to be closer to regulators.
Less than 18 months leasing a 20,000 square foot space in the heart of the Mission District, Juul Labs is planning on moving its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. According to reports, the company is planning the move as a way to be closer to legislators and Food and Drug Administration officials.
While largely a symbolic gesture, the move does give lobbyists working directly for and on behalf of the company better access to lawmakers and other officials. This may allow the company to better position itself in the wake of investigations and ensuing regulatory crackdowns.
Juul is expected to maintain office space in San Francisco for their product and software development teams. The company leasing the space to Juul Labs has stated that the company is not in talks for an expansion in the building, which is currently fully leased.
SF To DC
Juul Labs, manufacturer of the popular Juul vaporizers and cartridges, is planning to relocate its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The move comes shortly on the heels of reports that the company would be downsizing by nearly a third and planning to exit multiple international markets as part of a larger restructuring effort.
According to a source at Altria, the relocation is a symbolic gesture meant to signal the company’s commitment to change to public health regulators. In addition, the move is meant to symbolically serve as a way for the company to separate itself from the culture of exponential growth that consumes Silicon Valley.
Two years ago the company faced a $38 billion valuation following the acquisition of a minority stake by big tobacco giant Altria, which has since lost nearly two-thirds of its value following a series of controversies regarding the company’s marketing practices. The company has remained in a constant cycle of investigations and lawsuits over allegations that Juul was being directly marketed to children and teens.
The restructuring efforts come as a way to better position itself for the future, according to CEO K.C. Crosthwaite. Crosthwaite replaced former CEO Kevin Burns in late 2019 as investigations and lawsuits began to gain traction, and has since put a stop to the company’s rapid overexpansion.
Truth About Vaping
Every year, the worldwide smoking epidemic is responsible for killing and sickening millions of people across the planet. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are currently 38 million smokers in the United States alone, 16 million of whom face some form of smoking-related illness or disease.
Studies highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid show that it may be our greatest asset in combating this deadly epidemic. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that vaping is more effective than conventional nicotine-replacement therapies in helping people not only quit smoking but remain tobacco-free. Another study, from the University of Louisville, found that vaping was the single most effective form of smoking cessation available, more than any other nicotine replacement therapy tested.
Vaping may already be responsible for saving thousands, and potentially millions, of lives all over the globe each year. A study conducted by University College London found that vaping was responsible for helping up to 70,000 British smokers quit in a single year alone.
Not only is vaping one of the most effective smoking cessation aids available, but research has demonstrated vaping to be significantly safer than smoking as well. Studies from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center found that vaping is 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
In addition, the current scientific consensus surrounding vaping shows there is currently no risk of harm from long-term use. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking and there are no known long-term health effects from prolonged usage.
What It Means
Juul’s restructuring efforts may offer the greatest opportunity for the company to better position itself for the future going forward. Not only does this reduce overhead and streamline operations, but it also grants the company increased access to regulators and other officials.
The company must do everything it can to not only shift its perception with lawmakers but the public as well. Only time will tell if these actions have any material impact on the trajectory the company is currently heading in.
What are your thoughts regarding Juul Labs moving its corporate headquarters? Do you believe the move will allow the company to better lobby lawmakers? Let us know what you think in the comments below, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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