JUUL e-cigarette maker aims to curb youth appeal

COOL. E-cigarette maker JUUL said it was not out to lure the youth. Photo from juul.com

COOL. E-cigarette maker JUUL said it was not out to lure the youth. Photo from juul.

com

WASHINGTON, USA – E-cigarette maker JUUL announced Tuesday, November 14, it is suspending in-store sales of various flavored products and scrapping its social media presence in a bid to curb the popular device's youth appeal.

"We don't want anyone who doesn't smoke, or already use nicotine, to use JUUL products," CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement.

"We certainly don't want youth using the product. It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission," which is "eliminating cigarettes," he said.

To address the issue, JUUL flavors such as Mango, Fruit and Creme will now only be available on the company's website, "where we are adding additional age-verification measures," the statement said.

Tobacco-based flavors will still be available in retail stores, where the company said it is stepping up efforts to monitor compliance.

JUUL said it is also eliminating its social media accounts, while monitoring and removing "inappropriate material" from third-party accounts.

E-cigarettes expose users to significantly lower levels of potentially toxic substances, except for nicotine, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said this year.

Converting conventional cigarette smokers to vaping would therefore reduce the number of cancer cases.

At the same time, numerous parents and high schools say teenagers are using JUUL, raising fears that a new generation is being exposed to nicotine, which is addictive but not cancerous.

The US Food and Drug Administration has denounced "an epidemic of regular nicotine use among teens." – Rappler.com

 Agence France-Presse