Juul Will Cease Selling E-Cigarette Flavored Pods in Stores and Halt Social Media Campaigns
Popular e-cigarette company Juul Labs will no longer be supplying its flavored pods to over 90,000 retail locations. It will also halt its social media presence, in an attempt to curb its high appeal to underage consumers. The decision to do so is in line with rumors of the Federal Drug Administration gearing up to announce a flavor ban on e-cigarette juice in an attempt to combat youth vaping.
An “action plan” posted on Juul’s website details its halt in fulfilling orders of their popular fruit and mango, creme, and cucumber flavors to retail locations. Juul’s traditional e-cigarette liquids, including its menthol, mint, and tobacco flavor pods will still be able to be purchased at retail locations, as they replicate the standard experience of a real cigarette.
As for the lineup of sweeter flavors, they will still be available on Juul’s website, which will employ an age verification to limit sales to consumers who are 21 years of age or older. The website will require purchases to provide their name, date of birth, permanent address, and the last four digits of their social security, which will be verified by a third-party service.
In addition to the limit on its flavored pods, Juul Labs will no longer operate on social media. The company announced they will shuttering their Facebook and Instagram accounts, and will only post non-promotional material to its Twitter and YouTube accounts. Juul will also work closely with social media companies to remove any Juul content targeted at underage users.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, vaping is teens preferred method of getting nicotine. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb teased upcoming research on e-cigarettes, saying that vaping has increased by a staggering 75 percent in high school students, along with a 50 percent increase in middle school students.
Thanks to its inconspicuous design, Juul has become extremely popular with teens. Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns called the underage use of e-cigarettes with teens an “unintended and serious problem” while reiterating that the company “wants to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine.”
The FDA is not pulling any stops in its efforts to severely regulate the e-cigarette industry. Earlier this year, it gave e-cigarette companies a deadline to prove they are not targeting kids with their products. Last month, the agency seized marketing material from Juul Labs in its efforts to crack down on underage use of its products.