TLDR: Juul wants to sell its employers and insurers on using its e-cigarettes to help their workers stop smoking cigarettes. They have built a team dedicated to partnering with payers, providers, self-insured employers, and the public sector. The company has tried to overhaul its image and prove that it’s really a health-focused company.
Juul is pitching its e-cigarette as an anti-smoking tool to employers and insurers
Juul has a new program to pitch its e-cigarette to companies and insurers who want to help their employees stop smoking cigarettes as the company continues to stave off criticism that its product has caused an epidemic in teen smoking.
CNBC has learned that the company hired former Cardinal Health executive Douglas Roberts in the fall to lead its new “enterprise markets team,” which is focused on striking deals with health plans, providers, self-insured employers and the public sector.
In an interview, Roberts said he decided to take the job with Juul because it was clear to him that large hospitals across the country were looking at ways to make a big impact across their patient population and the role felt like a “natural opportunity” to do that. He has spent the past few months meeting with potential customers, including large employers in the private and public sector, though he declined to name them.
“It’s pretty consistent what we’re hearing, which is what’s out there today is not working, and people are really looking to get their arms around how do they provide alternatives to large groups and large masses of people who really haven’t had effective alternatives,” he said.
“Many employers have embraced cessation as a benefit as it’s one of the top areas where they repeat benefits for employees,” said Wende Hutton, a general partner at Canaan and investor in Chrono Therapeutics, a company developing a digital nicotine replacement therapy. “And employees who smoke and are able to quit see health impacts very quickly.”
Opinion: Learning that some companies such as Juul are becoming innovative and are stepping up to a whole new level in providing new insights and development to the vaping community is definitely a delight. We just hope that employers and insurers would be open to it and face the reality that vaping could be an effective smoking cessation aid for everyone.