From a personal perspective, JUUL Labs has committed several illegal acts associated with its reckless business practices. First of all, the company deliberately downplayed the health-related risks caused by vaping, especially the danger of nicotine. According to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, “typical JUUL pod is so strong and addictive that it is nearly three times the permissible concentration allowed for sale in a number of countries for people of all ages” (Turner, 2019, para. 4). Moreover, knowing about it, the company specifically targets minors aiming to increase its sales. In particular, regardless of the fact that selling e-cigarettes is prohibited for young individuals, the company “used negligent age-verification methods for online purchases” (Turner, 2019, para. 5). In addition, JUUL Labs created an attractive design and paid to influencers for the promotion of its products in social media.
Involvement of Other Vaping Companies
It goes without saying that other vaping companies should be involved in a similar criminal probe. First of all, JUUL Labs is not the only company that operates in the market and offers e-cigarettes. At the same time, vaping has been connected with at least 530 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses and nine deaths (Blumberg, 2019). Moreover, a considerable number of vape users are middle and high school students. That is why it is essential to access the business activities of all vaping companies in relation to the expediency of their strategies in order to ensure that they do not target minors and do not sell products to them.
Intention of a Criminal Act
In general, it is possible for a business organization to commit a criminal act without intent. It may happen when a company launches its product, however, there is a lack of scientific research that may guarantee its safety. However, in the case of JUUL Labs, it intentionally committed illegal acts. The company was aware that it targets minors, and its age verification system is not secure. In this case, it deliberately neglected safety-related regulations to boost its sales.
Blumberg, A. (2019). Federal prosecutors launch criminal probe into Juul Labs: Report. Huffpost.
Turner, A. (2019). North Carolina AG sues e-cigarette maker Juul, says it ‘downplayed’ dangers of nicotine to children. CNBC.