November 13 2018

Popular E-Cigarette Company Pulling Flavored Vaping Products from Store Shelves

By: Rich Hosford

A leading e-cigarette company is pulling products studies have shown are popular among teens from stores shelves.

 

JUUL Labs announced on Tuesday that it is immediately pulling four of its flavored vaping pods from all retail locations and making them available online only with new online age verification systems meant to ensure they are purchased by adults only. The change came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released plans to limit the sales of flavored tobacco products, including new age-verification requirements.

 

JUUL Labs also closed its Instagram and Facebook pages because they are often used by youths and is working to eliminate third-party posts promoting its products to young people

 

JUUL Labs CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement that the goal of his company is to help adults quit traditional cigarettes, not to be a mode for young people to begin using nicotine.

 

“We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products,” he said. “We certainly don’t want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission. JUUL Labs and FDA share a common goal – preventing youth from initiating on nicotine. To paraphrase Commissioner Gottlieb, we want to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine. We won’t be successful in our mission to serve adult smokers if we don’t narrow the on-ramp.”

 

Burns said one issue his company identified when it comes to teens and vaping is the offering of flavored options and he agreed with the FDA that “flavors play an important role in driving the youth appeal.” As of today, he added, the company will stop selling Mango, Fruit, Creme and Cucumber JUUL pods in the over 90,000 retails stores that sell its products.

 

Those flavored products will now only be available at the company’s website where customers will have to provide their name, date of birth, permanent address, and the last four digits of their social security number. This information will be verified by a third party and cross-referenced with publicly available records to confirm the person is at least 21 years of age.

 

Online purchases will also be limited to two devices and fifteen JUUL pod packages per month and no more than ten devices per year to prevent resale of the products.

 

The changes come as more and more awareness about teens and vaping has been brought to the fore.

 

According to a study by UC San Francisco researchers that was published in March in the journal Pediatrics, adolescents who smoke e-cigarettes are exposed to significant levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals also found in tobacco cigarettes, even when the e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine.

“Teenagers need to be warned that the vapor produced by e-cigarettes is not harmless water vapor, but actually contains some of the same toxic chemicals found in smoke from traditional cigarettes,” said lead author Mark L. Rubinstein, MD, a professor of pediatrics at UCSF. “Teenagers should be inhaling air, not products with toxins in them.”

Locally, actions have been taken to curb teenager vaping use. Burlington Police School Resource Officer Keith Sheppard gave a talk to parents last week about the dangers of vaping among youths and what they should look out for with their children. The Burlington Board of Health also raised the buying age for all tobacco products to 21 this past April.

 

 
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