Los Angeles Times+ Your Authors @latimes Bringing L.A. to the world and the world to L.A. Subscribe now: membership.latimes.com/ Nov. 19, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Juul wanted to distance itself from a toxic past.

But new evidence depicts a Silicon Valley start-up that harvested the tobacco industry’s technical savvy to launch a 21st century nicotine arms race.

A review by The Times of more than 3,000 pages of internal Juul records found that the formula that makes the e-cigarette so palatable and addictive dates back more than four decades.

The key ingredient: nicotine salts.

A similar formula was tested 40 years ago, in a six-month-long chemical investigation found in the research troves of R.J. Reynolds, the maker of Camel cigarettes. On the report was a stamp: “CONFIDENTIAL.”

Juul’s salts contain up to three times the amount of nicotine found in previous e-cigarettes.

They use softening chemicals to allow people to take deeper drags without vomiting or burning their throats.

One of the first aerosol cigarettes was introduced by RJ Reynolds, the maker of Camel cigarettes. After five months, it was pulled from the market due to low sales.

It was one of the various failed precursors to e-cigarettes over the past few decades.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-11-19/juuls-youth-luring-chemical-based-in-big-tobacco 

Reynolds had previously conducted research into nicotine salts — but ultimately never commercialized cigarettes with the formula.

It was the same type of compound Juul ultimately used for its own products decades later.  https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-11-19/juuls-youth-luring-chemical-based-in-big-tobacco 

How did Juul take a chemical formula out of Big Tobacco’s original playbook? Read more from @Emily_Baum:

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