E-cigarette manufacturer Juul will cut roughly 500 jobs before the end of 2019, somewhat reversing a surge of hiring the company underwent earlier this year.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that a source familiar with the company's strategy said the initiative is part of a reinvestment strategy that will also include cuts to Juul's marketing budget and a shift of resources to campaigns to prevent the underage use of vaping products.
Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite told the Journal that the company was primarily focused on "earning a license to operate in the U.S. and around the world" after the e-cigarette industry as a whole suffered setbacks this year due to studies that suggested a surge in the underage use of vaping products was linked to a spike in vaping-related lung illnesses.
The company has added hundreds of employees to its staff in 2019, which now sits at a total of about 4,000, according to the Journal. Juul executives implemented a hiring freeze last month shortly before Crosthwaite became CEO.
"I have long believed in a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose alternative products like JUUL. That has been this company’s mission since it was founded, and it has taken great strides in that direction. Unfortunately, today that future is at risk due to unacceptable levels of youth usage and eroding public confidence in our industry," he said at the time.