E-cigarette company makes changes to help prevent underage use

Local News

A popular e-cigarette company is rolling out a new plan of action to help prevent minors from using the product. 

The CEO of Juul acknowledging in a statement Tuesday that the underage use of e-cigarettes has become a problem and the company is now taking some big steps to solve it.

Juul’s CEO is separating this plan of action into four different groups – targeting flavors, retail stores, social media, and the future. 

He claims that the company wants to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not the on-ramp for young people to start using nicotine.

Ask around on a college campus, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t at least know a Juul user.

“I don’t normally use it ever, but sometimes when you’re out they’re everywhere,” said Collin Green, UT student.

“I’ve never bought one, but I have used a Juul,” said UT student Luke Blentlinger.

“It’s a constant thing. It’s almost like a cell phone in a way, like they can never put it down it seems like, they always got to have it on them and always kind of have to be using it every two, three minutes almost,” said Curt Tucker, a UT student.

The product is no doubt popular.

“People just talk about it like, just kind of like a normal everyday thing, like ‘hey want a Juul,”‘ said Delaney Tureson.

But the company on Tuesday making it clear, they don’t want that popularity in an underage crowd, outlining some new changes on the way.

Those include stopping the sale of some flavored Juul pods to all 90 thousand retail stores, and making those pods available only on their website. That is even coming with added age restrictions for people ages 21 and up.

Juul says they are also shutting down their U.S.-based social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram. 

“I know juuling is a big thing like in middle schools and even elementary schools in some cases, so I know that would be a big deterrent for a lot of the younger users. For people my age and college age students, I don’t think at the end of the day it will be that big of a deal,” said Tucker.

“Maybe the flavor thing would help because when you have something like mango or like raspberry that definitely does target a younger audience, like most adults probably would just end up using mint or something,” Tureson said.

One other change Juul is making is developing a way to track where a specific Juul device or pod was purchased.

Juul began implementing this plan of action starting Tuesday. 

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