Too Cool for JUUL: The FDA Cracks Down on e-Cigarettes

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Juul has seen their fair share of controversy in the past and it isn’t finished yet. On Wednesday, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a crackdown on all e-cigarette manufacturers and officially declared e-cigarette use in teens an “epidemic”. The statement released by the FDA threatened a potential ban on e-cigarettes if Juul is unable to get them out of the hands of minors.

The open statement specifically addressed five different e-cigarette manufacturers including Juul. The FDA warned that if they have not submitted specific plans to end this epidemic, the companies may be forced to remove all or some of their flavored products. For Juul this could potentially remove six out of eight of their nicotine cartridges called “JUUL pods.”

Juul has previously gotten in trouble with the FDA when asked to submit a background on their marketing techniques as well as research on behavioral effects of Juuling.

According to a company spokesperson and CEO Kevin Burns, JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request. We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people.

“Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission.”

Juul has begun implementing several tactics to stop promotion of their products towards minors such as limiting view of their Instagram to any persons unders the age of 21.

People younger than 21 receive this message from Juul’s Instagram page.

In their email to us, Juul also mentioned their other tactics, which we have listed below. With regards to their future plans, which they are presenting to the FDA in 57 days, Juul has decided to remain silent.

  1. We have pledged an investment of $30 million over the next three years dedicated to independent research, youth and parent education, and community engagement. We are working closely with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and the group he assembled.
  2. Our ecommerce platform utilizes unique ID match and age verification technology to make sure minors are not able to access and purchase our products online.
  3. We market our products responsibly, following strict guidelines to have material directed toward adult smokers and not to youth audiences. (Please read our Marketing & Social Media Code)
  4. We support state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum age to 21+ to purchase tobacco products.
  5. We have reseller terms that include monitoring and penalties for noncompliance with underage restrictions.
  6. Our packaging includes a prominent nicotine label and the additional statement “The alternative for adult smokers.”
  7. Because of the regulated nature of our product, we conduct random compliance checks of independent retail stores using our secret shopping program. We evaluate hundreds of locations every month.
  8. We actively engage with social media and online sales platforms to remove inappropriate content targeted at minors or illegal sales of our product.



Maxine is a senior and this is her first year writing for the Chronicle. Maxine’s passions for writing and current events are what sparked her interest in journalism. One of her favorite aspects of writing for the Chronicle is being able to collaborate with and getting to know a diverse collection of people in her community. Her favorite stories to write are opinion pieces which encompass the perspectives of a variety of students at Menlo-Atherton.

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