As JUUL Labs faces an upcoming Congressional hearing, Forbes reports that the San Francisco vapor company has for the first time laid out just over $1 million dollars in lobbying funds in a single quarter from April to June. This according to a lobbying disclosure filed with Congress.
JUUL’s lobbying efforts began in the second quarter of 2018 with an initial outlay of $210,000. The company’s efforts include lobbyists with ties to both Republicans and Democrats, as JUUL seeks to advance Tobacco 21 policy through legislation. JUUL stakeholder Altria is likewise engaged in parallel lobbying efforts toward the same objective. Altria has dedicated a portion of its $2.38 million second quarter expenses toward those lobbying efforts, according to a lobbying disclosure found here. Altria’s and JUUL’s parallel but separate lobbying efforts were explained in a comment from Altria spokesman George Parman, who said, “We do not have a services agreement with Juul for government affairs.”
JUUL Labs co-founder James Monsees, along with Chief Administration Officer Ashley Gould are set to testify before Congress on the topic of underage vaping today, Thursday, July 25.
JUUL has faced substantial condemnation from outside the vaping community for the perception that its devices are somehow to blame for minors illicitly possessing and using nicotine products. It has faced backlash from within the vaping community, on the other hand, for accepting a $12.8 billion investment from Altria, giving the legacy tobacco company a 35% shareholder stake in JUUL Labs, a move characterized by some disaffected employees as, “a deal with the devil.”