Juul ends flavored e-cig pod retail sales to reduce teen use

Lloyd Doyle
November 15, 2018

The nation's leading electronic cigarette maker halted store sales of some flavors to deter use by children.

The decision by the San Francisco-based company, which has more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market share in the United States, was made as the Food and Drug Administration moved forward with a plan to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations. This habit may seem more benign than so many teens smoking regular old cancer sticks, until you remember that a single Juul pod holds as much nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes.

Until then, popular fruit flavours and other sweet flavours that appeal to younger users will only be available on Juul's website.

Juul says it has stopped selling mango, fruit and cucumber vaping flavours to US stores, but continues to sell them online and in Canadian stores. It said its Twitter account will be used for "non-promotional communications" and its YouTube channel will only feature adults who've transitioned off tobacco. "We certainly don't want youth using the product".

"Juuling" has become synonymous with vaping in high schools across the country, where some teachers and administrators have started locking bathrooms, jokingly called "Juul rooms" by students.

"In addition to enforcing regulations that prohibit the sale of vaping products to people under age 18", she said, "the Government of Canada will soon be introducing a new public education campaign to increase awareness about the harms and risks associated with vaping product use among youth aged 13 to 18". The agency is also expected to propose banning menthol in traditional cigarettes.

Consumers will still be able to buy all of Juul's flavors on its website and its four tobacco and menthol-flavored pods in retail stores, Burns said. Other flavours could still be sold at vape shops.

"JUUL is a switching product for adult smokers and is not intended for non-smokers or minors", Davis said in her email to CBC News. That last item suggests the FDA can indirectly censor constitutionally protected speech by holding the threat of ruinous regulatory action over the heads of e-cigarette companies. They're generally considered a less unsafe alternative to regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Buyers will have access to Cucumber, Fruit, Creme, and Mango flavor options.

James Campbell, a spokesman for the Imperial Brands Plc unit that makes blu e-cigarettes, said the company told the FDA it plans to introduce a technology early next year that would lock devices in an effort to prevent underage use.

By the end of the year, Juul said its verification system will include two-factor authentication and a real-time photo requirement that matches a person's face with an uploaded ID.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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