FDA to restrict sale of flavored Juul pods to fight teen vaping

Flavored pods make getting into Juuling easier for teens.
Image: scott olson/Getty Images

It’s like taking candy away from a baby.

The FDA will move to ban Juul’s fun flavors from most convenience stores to fight teen use of the product, reports the New York Times. The agency will also require stricter age verification measures for buying Juuls online.

The new policies are part of the FDA’s investigation into teens’ love of the product, and whether Juul itself is to blame. In September, the FDA gave JUUL 60 days to introduce new initiatives to fight teen use. Now that time has expired, the FDA is taking action themselves. The restrictions will also apply to other big tobacco companies that sell flavored nicotine pods. The FDA will reportedly share further details of the plan the week of November 12. 

Juul pods come in mango, cucumber, fruit, and creme, in addition to mint, menthol, Virginia tobacco, and classic tobacco. The FDA won’t allow gas stations and convenience stores to sell the more teen-friendly flavors: mango, cucumber, fruit, and creme. Vape shops and other “specialty retailers” will still be able to sell all the flavors, according to Reuters.

There aren’t details yet about how the stricter age verifications will work. Juul already restricts all online sales of its products to its own website, and is fighting counterfeiters who sell fake Juuls all over the internet. This is part of their push to curb teen vaping, because the Juul site already requires shoppers to verify their age with their social security number.

Juul’s age verification page.

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus/mashable/juul

Juul’s age verification page.

Image: SCREENSHOT: RACHEL KRAUS/MASHABLE/JUUL

Juul bills itself as a way to help adult smokers quit; it says that if you have never smoked, you should never start Juuling. But Juul has 70 percent of the market share of vaping devices. And Juuls in particular are the beloved e-cig brand of the high school set; “Juuling” is all over teenage social media, and a University of Michigan survey even found that 1 in 4 high school seniors said they vaped in 2017.

Going after flavored pods may be a good step in fighting teen use. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids reported that flavored pods might be easing the runway into vaping: 81 percent of 12-17 year olds “who had ever used e-cigarettes had used a flavored e-cigarette the first time they tried the product,” their report reads. And flavored pods remain popular even after the first time: “81.5 percent of current youth e-cigarette users said they used e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.”

Given that research, restricting sales of the flavors might deter some first time Juulers. Although, plenty of companies sell other flavored pods that still work with Juuls.

However, the Campaign — and anyone who has eyes — first attributes the rise of Juul to the “sleek design” and easy ability to hide the activity from adults. That is, like so many other trends, it’s the rebellious, aesthetic cool-factor of Juul that has made it so popular with teenagers — not just fun flavors. 

Juuling is also a verb all its own that specifically does not look like smoking; it’s a necessarily nonchalant action in the same way smoking was, but with an under the radar swagger all its own.

That aura is something harder for the FDA to regulate. The cool factor (and subsequent use) of cigarettes has only ebbed as the adverse health effects and stigma have taken precedence over the James Dean look. Teens also reportedly don’t view vapes as being that bad for them, despite current research indicating that vaping comes with health risks all its own. 

Juul and the FDA have a long road ahead of them if they’re both committed, together, to getting teens to stop Juuling. Making mango pods slightly harder to buy isn’t the end of the road.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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JUUL asks Instagram and other companies to remove teen vaping content

Juul wants social media companies to police underage Juuling images on their platforms.
Image: EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images

Is this the end of JUUL memes?

JUUL announced a number of new measures to try to prevent teens from using its products on Tuesday.

Notably, it will stop allowing retailers to sell flavored pods until they install advanced age verification software from JUUL. The company is also discontinuing its own Facebook and Instagram accounts, and has asked social media companies to help remove youth-oriented JUUL content from its platforms — including the prohibition of posts depicting JUULing and vaping by underage users. 

The new initiatives come days after it was reported that the FDA would prohibit convenience stores and gas stations from selling flavored pods. Rather than wait for FDA enforcement, JUUL has apparently taken proactive measures that go further than the FDA’s new policy. The FDA would have allowed tobacco and specialty vape shops to continue selling flavored pods, while JUUL’s new retailer policy will only allow this if the shops use JUUL’s Social Security number-matching age verification software.

“Our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products,” JUUL CEO Kevin Burns wrote in the statement. “But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. We must solve it.”

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Really how it be🤦🏾‍♂️

A post shared by J U U L E M P I R E ❌ (@_juulempire_) on

Flavors are on the front line in the fight against youth vaping. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids says that flavors make it easier for young people to start vaping. So now, the Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber JUULpod flavors are only available through JUUL’s website.

To buy anything on JUUL’s site, users already have to verify their age and identity with their Social Security numbers. JUUL said that that process is about to get even stricter: by the end of the year, JUUL will also require two-factor authentication to create an account, and it will even use “a real-time photo requirement to match a user’s face against an uploaded I.D.”

JUUL said it’s also continuing its fight against counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers in its attempt to ensure its own site (with age verification) is the only place people can buy the product. 

Another big part of JUUL’s attempt to curb teen use is social media. In July, JUUL discontinued using models on social media in order to stop glamorizing the product. But JUUL images and memes have spread on social media outside of JUUL’s own social presence; the #DoIt4Juul hashtag on Instagram has over 7,200 posts, many conspicuously by teenagers, about how they love their JUULs.

JUUL notes that while it never had a Snapchat, even removing its Facebook and Instagram presence is a small part of the larger social media battle.

“User-generated social media posts involving JUUL products or our brand are proliferating across platforms and must be swiftly addressed,” Burns wrote. “There is no question that this user-generated social media content is linked to the appeal of vaping to underage users.”

JUUL says that it has already worked with social media companies to remove “thousands” of pieces of JUUL content that encourage teen vaping. But it also says that it has reached out to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter for additional help curbing this content on their platforms. 

“We have asked Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat for their assistance in policing unauthorized, youth-oriented content on their platforms,” Burns wrote. “We asked that each platform prohibit the posting of any content that promotes the use of cigarettes or e-cigarettes by underage users.”

Snap told Mashable that it already prohibits all posts marketing tobacco products to people of all ages, not just teens. The company did not say whether it would work to prevent the actual posting of JUUL content by underage users, or offer any further comment on JUUL’s request. Twitter and Instagram declined to comment. Mashable did not hear back from Facebook or JUUL before this article was published. 

Social media companies are already grappling with how to police content on their platforms, and may not be eager to add another thorny item to their to-do lists. Then again, fighting teen vaping may be much more straightforward than, say, hate speech, so this is an initiative where social media companies could have a positive impact.

The FDA is still investigating whether JUUL may have marketed products to teens. It has also undertaken a $60 million ad campaign to educate teens about the risks of vaping, which include addiction to nicotine and other health risks. 

After months of negative headlines, JUUL has gone above and beyond the FDA’s requests, and seems eager to be seen as a partner, not an adversary, in the fight against teen vaping. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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Juul Labs sues Chinese counterfeiters illegally selling fake Juuls

Counterfeit or the real thing? Depends where you buy it.
Image: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

It’s a sue and be sued world out there!

In August, Juul Labs filed trademark claims against 30 entities in China selling counterfeit Juul products on Ebay. Now, the company has announced that a federal court granted the company a temporary restraining order over the accounts, and froze the counterfeiters’ PayPals. Take that, counterfeiters!

For Juul, this isn’t a simple matter of copyright infringement, though. The company is fighting to reduce teenage use of the product, especially in light of a FDA investigation into why teens love Juuls so much (and whether that’s Juul’s fault). And maintaining control over online sales that are age-verified is a crucial component of that campaign.

Legitimate Juul products are only available online through Juul’s website. However, as of this writing, there were over 2,000 listings for Juul or Juul-related products on Ebay. Any Juul device or pod you might see on Ebay or elsewhere that’s not Juul’s website directly comes from a counterfeiter, or an unauthorized seller. 

But selling Juul directly through the company’s own site isn’t just important to controlling the company’s cashflow, or even for verifying that the product is the real deal. Keeping Juul’s site as the sole online seller is crucial to ensuring that teens don’t purchase the e-cigs online. 

“Keeping JUUL out of the hands of young people is a priority for us,” Victoria Davis, a Juul Labs spokesperson told Mashable over email. “We have a strict and industry-leading age-verification process on our Web site so no one under the age of 21 can access JUUL. However, counterfeiters do not utilize the same type of age verification systems, which may enable minors to purchase products.” 

Juul’s site requires users to register with their social security numbers in order to verify that they’re over 21. So circumventing Juul’s commerce system means that the counterfeiters are actually undermining the company’s very intentional efforts to keep the cute lil’ vapes out of the hands of kids.

Juul is going after the counterfeiters through the legal system, as well as directly with sales platforms like Ebay and Amazon. But Davis described the hunt for counterfeiters as a “challenge” because the sellers can easily make new profiles. That isn’t deterring Juul, though, since more counterfeiters are popping up as the company grows.

“The prevalence of counterfeiters has increased dramatically over the last year consistent with JUUL’s rise in the marketplace,” Davis said. “The process of tracking and identifying the culprits of counterfeit products is time intensive. We have dedicated resources to this initiative to ensure these products stay off the market and out of hands of underage users.”

In other words, Juul’s attempts to go after counterfeiters is like USB-vape whack-a-mole. And the nicotine habits of kids are on the line. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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FDA to restrict sale of flavored Juul pods to fight teen vaping

Flavored pods make getting into Juuling easier for teens.
Image: scott olson/Getty Images

It’s like taking candy away from a baby.

The FDA will move to ban Juul’s fun flavors from most convenience stores to fight teen use of the product, reports the New York Times. The agency will also require stricter age verification measures for buying Juuls online.

The new policies are part of the FDA’s investigation into teens’ love of the product, and whether Juul itself is to blame. In September, the FDA gave JUUL 60 days to introduce new initiatives to fight teen use. Now that time has expired, the FDA is taking action themselves. The restrictions will also apply to other big tobacco companies that sell flavored nicotine pods. The FDA will reportedly share further details of the plan the week of November 12. 

Juul pods come in mango, cucumber, fruit, and creme, in addition to mint, menthol, Virginia tobacco, and classic tobacco. The FDA won’t allow gas stations and convenience stores to sell the more teen-friendly flavors: mango, cucumber, fruit, and creme. Vape shops and other “specialty retailers” will still be able to sell all the flavors, according to Reuters.

There aren’t details yet about how the stricter age verifications will work. Juul already restricts all online sales of its products to its own website, and is fighting counterfeiters who sell fake Juuls all over the internet. This is part of their push to curb teen vaping, because the Juul site already requires shoppers to verify their age with their social security number.

Juul’s age verification page.

Image: screenshot: rachel kraus/mashable/juul

Juul’s age verification page.

Image: SCREENSHOT: RACHEL KRAUS/MASHABLE/JUUL

Juul bills itself as a way to help adult smokers quit; it says that if you have never smoked, you should never start Juuling. But Juul has 70 percent of the market share of vaping devices. And Juuls in particular are the beloved e-cig brand of the high school set; “Juuling” is all over teenage social media, and a University of Michigan survey even found that 1 in 4 high school seniors said they vaped in 2017.

Going after flavored pods may be a good step in fighting teen use. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids reported that flavored pods might be easing the runway into vaping: 81 percent of 12-17 year olds “who had ever used e-cigarettes had used a flavored e-cigarette the first time they tried the product,” their report reads. And flavored pods remain popular even after the first time: “81.5 percent of current youth e-cigarette users said they used e-cigarettes “because they come in flavors I like.”

Given that research, restricting sales of the flavors might deter some first time Juulers. Although, plenty of companies sell other flavored pods that still work with Juuls.

However, the Campaign — and anyone who has eyes — first attributes the rise of Juul to the “sleek design” and easy ability to hide the activity from adults. That is, like so many other trends, it’s the rebellious, aesthetic cool-factor of Juul that has made it so popular with teenagers — not just fun flavors. 

Juuling is also a verb all its own that specifically does not look like smoking; it’s a necessarily nonchalant action in the same way smoking was, but with an under the radar swagger all its own.

That aura is something harder for the FDA to regulate. The cool factor (and subsequent use) of cigarettes has only ebbed as the adverse health effects and stigma have taken precedence over the James Dean look. Teens also reportedly don’t view vapes as being that bad for them, despite current research indicating that vaping comes with health risks all its own. 

Juul and the FDA have a long road ahead of them if they’re both committed, together, to getting teens to stop Juuling. Making mango pods slightly harder to buy isn’t the end of the road.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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The anti-smoking giant that wants to stop JUUL

Don't try this at home, kids.
Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

JUUL is the vape giant that went from zero to $16 billion in three years. Truth Initiative is the largest anti-smoking organization in the United States.

Both the company and the non-profit claim to have the same goal: helping smokers quit tobacco cigarettes. But Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, hasn’t been shy about slamming JUUL. 

“The fact that JUUL is acting like, ‘What, young people are using JUUL? We never intended that to happen,’ is a little disingenuous,” she said. 

Oh yes, that. Teenagers love JUUL. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are filled with #juul references. These days, downtime at college is basically all about posting Stories of yourself JUULing to Drake. 

The devices are sleek, small, and everywhere. There’s no need to refill them with liquid — just pop in a new JUULpod. They even recharge via USB.

Unlike some vapes, they deliver a lot of nicotine. The company says each JUULpod contains 5 percent nicotine, about as much as a pack of cigarettes. Early on, the company reached plenty of young people on social media with ads of models living their best #vapelife. 

The blowback from parents and the press has been severe. In response, JUUL removed models from its feeds, which now only feature ex-smokers sharing their stories. It committed $30 million to fighting underage use of its products. The company also has a secret shopping program to carry out “random compliance checks” to make sure retail stores aren’t selling to minors. 

Koval wants JUUL to do more. She dismissed the $30 million that JUUL is spending as a “rounding error” for a company that just raised $1.2 billion from investors. 

“Frankly, if they really wanted to do something to impact youth sales, they could voluntarily comply with all of the rules that got postponed until 2022,” she said. 

During the Obama administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that e-cigarette makers would have to submit their products for review by this summer. Trump administration officials delayed that deadline until 2022, saying that it didn’t want to stifle innovation. 

JUUL said that it supports “effective legislation and regulation,” but hasn’t stated support for the FDA rules. And the company has spent $240,000 on lobbyists in hopes of influencing e-cig regulations, according to Wired

And not everyone is convinced that $30 million will keep young people from trying JUUL.

“Tobacco companies have a long history of creating and promoting their own programs which they say are for ‘youth smoking prevention,'” said Pamela Ling, professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Those programs were simply “PR tools to avoid regulation,” she said. And JUUL could be following the same strategy. 

“As far as I know, there is no published evidence that the JUUL youth program actually decreases youth use of JUUL.”

Then there’s the issue of teen-friendly flavors, most notably mango and “fruit medley.” Koval wants them off the market. JUUL insists fruity flavors help smokers who “don’t want to be reminded of the tobacco-taste of a cigarette.” 

There’s evidence that vaping could lead teenagers to try traditional cigs — the ultimate nightmare for anti-smoking activists 

Helping smokers quit is a noble goal, of course. A study published earlier this year by University of Michigan researchers concluded that the “benefits outweigh the risks” when it comes to vaping — essentially, they save more lives by helping smokers quit than cost lives by hooking new smokers with nicotine. 

Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization. Several experts — including Koval — say it’s better for people to vape than smoke tobacco cigarettes. But do they actually help people quit? Some studies say they’re effective. On the other hand, a Georgia State University study from July found no evidence that vape use helped adult smokers quit at higher rates than smokers who didn’t vape. 

For teens, the stakes are even higher. Nicotine addiction could “harm the developing adolescent brain” and cause attention and mood disorders, said Adam Leventhal, director of the University of Southern California’s Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory. And earlier this year, a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found evidence that vaping could lead teenagers to try traditional tobacco cigarettes — the ultimate nightmare for anti-smoking activists. 

JUUL said it would widely release mint and “Virginia Tobacco” JUULpods with less nicotine at 3 percent in October. 

That’s still enough nicotine to addict non-smokers. And there’s another problem. 

Leventhal said while lower nicotine levels could decrease the risk of teens getting addicted, JUUL is only releasing those new products in flavors teens don’t like. 

“Their sweet flavors like mango, fruit medley, and crème brulee are most popular among kids,” he said. 

JUUL is also entering the U.K. market, which limits nicotine levels to 1.7 percent. 

“Why don’t they launch that here?” Koval said. “Clearly, they know that the product is going to be a lot more addictive with higher levels of nicotine, and that’s been the tobacco industry model since year one.”

That’s not the kind of thing JUUL wants to hear. Underage use is the dark stain on an otherwise fairytale success story, and the company is determined to battle the perception that it’s profiting from teen addiction. 

“Amazon’s Choice.”

Image: Amazon

“JUUL is intended for current adult smokers only. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: no minor or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL,” the company said in response to the Truth Initiative’s concerns. 

So far, the government has taken minor action. The FDA sent a letter to JUUL and other e-cigarette makers in May requesting internal documents “to better understand the youth appeal” of their products. JUUL said it has complied with the FDA’s request. 

Tech companies could also do more to stop the spread of JUUL. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat should provide more data on who is creating and consuming JUUL content, Koval said. And Amazon could stop selling skins — stickers that wrap around JUUL vapes — on its site. At the very least, it could remove the ones featuring cartoons and video games, including Rick and Morty and Fortnite

“I don’t think young people are taking up JUUL because they want to get addicted to nicotine,” Koval said. “They think it looks cool, it’s new, it comes in different flavors, and everyone is doing it.” 

With the help of those edgy “truth” ads, Truth Initiative saw teenage cigarette use in the U.S. drop from 23 percent in 2000 to less than 6 percent in 2018. It would be a shame if a product designed to help smokers quit actually stalled, or even reversed, that progress. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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Juul Labs sues Chinese counterfeiters illegally selling fake Juuls

Counterfeit or the real thing? Depends where you buy it.
Image: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

It’s a sue and be sued world out there!

In August, Juul Labs filed trademark claims against 30 entities in China selling counterfeit Juul products on Ebay. Now, the company has announced that a federal court granted the company a temporary restraining order over the accounts, and froze the counterfeiters’ PayPals. Take that, counterfeiters!

For Juul, this isn’t a simple matter of copyright infringement, though. The company is fighting to reduce teenage use of the product, especially in light of a FDA investigation into why teens love Juuls so much (and whether that’s Juul’s fault). And maintaining control over online sales that are age-verified is a crucial component of that campaign.

Legitimate Juul products are only available online through Juul’s website. However, as of this writing, there were over 2,000 listings for Juul or Juul-related products on Ebay. Any Juul device or pod you might see on Ebay or elsewhere that’s not Juul’s website directly comes from a counterfeiter, or an unauthorized seller. 

But selling Juul directly through the company’s own site isn’t just important to controlling the company’s cashflow, or even for verifying that the product is the real deal. Keeping Juul’s site as the sole online seller is crucial to ensuring that teens don’t purchase the e-cigs online. 

“Keeping JUUL out of the hands of young people is a priority for us,” Victoria Davis, a Juul Labs spokesperson told Mashable over email. “We have a strict and industry-leading age-verification process on our Web site so no one under the age of 21 can access JUUL. However, counterfeiters do not utilize the same type of age verification systems, which may enable minors to purchase products.” 

Juul’s site requires users to register with their social security numbers in order to verify that they’re over 21. So circumventing Juul’s commerce system means that the counterfeiters are actually undermining the company’s very intentional efforts to keep the cute lil’ vapes out of the hands of kids.

Juul is going after the counterfeiters through the legal system, as well as directly with sales platforms like Ebay and Amazon. But Davis described the hunt for counterfeiters as a “challenge” because the sellers can easily make new profiles. That isn’t deterring Juul, though, since more counterfeiters are popping up as the company grows.

“The prevalence of counterfeiters has increased dramatically over the last year consistent with JUUL’s rise in the marketplace,” Davis said. “The process of tracking and identifying the culprits of counterfeit products is time intensive. We have dedicated resources to this initiative to ensure these products stay off the market and out of hands of underage users.”

In other words, Juul’s attempts to go after counterfeiters is like USB-vape whack-a-mole. And the nicotine habits of kids are on the line. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

adminadminJuul Labs sues Chinese counterfeiters illegally selling fake Juuls
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The anti-smoking giant that wants to stop JUUL

Don't try this at home, kids.
Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

JUUL is the vape giant that went from zero to $16 billion in three years. Truth Initiative is the largest anti-smoking organization in the United States.

Both the company and the non-profit claim to have the same goal: helping smokers quit tobacco cigarettes. But Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, hasn’t been shy about slamming JUUL. 

“The fact that JUUL is acting like, ‘What, young people are using JUUL? We never intended that to happen,’ is a little disingenuous,” she said. 

Oh yes, that. Teenagers love JUUL. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are filled with #juul references. These days, downtime at college is basically all about posting Stories of yourself JUULing to Drake. 

The devices are sleek, small, and everywhere. There’s no need to refill them with liquid — just pop in a new JUULpod. They even recharge via USB.

Unlike some vapes, they deliver a lot of nicotine. The company says each JUULpod contains 5 percent nicotine, about as much as a pack of cigarettes. Early on, the company reached plenty of young people on social media with ads of models living their best #vapelife. 

The blowback from parents and the press has been severe. In response, JUUL removed models from its feeds, which now only feature ex-smokers sharing their stories. It committed $30 million to fighting underage use of its products. The company also has a secret shopping program to carry out “random compliance checks” to make sure retail stores aren’t selling to minors. 

Koval wants JUUL to do more. She dismissed the $30 million that JUUL is spending as a “rounding error” for a company that just raised $1.2 billion from investors. 

“Frankly, if they really wanted to do something to impact youth sales, they could voluntarily comply with all of the rules that got postponed until 2022,” she said. 

During the Obama administration, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that e-cigarette makers would have to submit their products for review by this summer. Trump administration officials delayed that deadline until 2022, saying that it didn’t want to stifle innovation. 

JUUL said that it supports “effective legislation and regulation,” but hasn’t stated support for the FDA rules. And the company has spent $240,000 on lobbyists in hopes of influencing e-cig regulations, according to Wired

And not everyone is convinced that $30 million will keep young people from trying JUUL.

“Tobacco companies have a long history of creating and promoting their own programs which they say are for ‘youth smoking prevention,'” said Pamela Ling, professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Those programs were simply “PR tools to avoid regulation,” she said. And JUUL could be following the same strategy. 

“As far as I know, there is no published evidence that the JUUL youth program actually decreases youth use of JUUL.”

Then there’s the issue of teen-friendly flavors, most notably mango and “fruit medley.” Koval wants them off the market. JUUL insists fruity flavors help smokers who “don’t want to be reminded of the tobacco-taste of a cigarette.” 

There’s evidence that vaping could lead teenagers to try traditional cigs — the ultimate nightmare for anti-smoking activists 

Helping smokers quit is a noble goal, of course. A study published earlier this year by University of Michigan researchers concluded that the “benefits outweigh the risks” when it comes to vaping — essentially, they save more lives by helping smokers quit than cost lives by hooking new smokers with nicotine. 

Tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization. Several experts — including Koval — say it’s better for people to vape than smoke tobacco cigarettes. But do they actually help people quit? Some studies say they’re effective. On the other hand, a Georgia State University study from July found no evidence that vape use helped adult smokers quit at higher rates than smokers who didn’t vape. 

For teens, the stakes are even higher. Nicotine addiction could “harm the developing adolescent brain” and cause attention and mood disorders, said Adam Leventhal, director of the University of Southern California’s Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory. And earlier this year, a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found evidence that vaping could lead teenagers to try traditional tobacco cigarettes — the ultimate nightmare for anti-smoking activists. 

JUUL said it would widely release mint and “Virginia Tobacco” JUULpods with less nicotine at 3 percent in October. 

That’s still enough nicotine to addict non-smokers. And there’s another problem. 

Leventhal said while lower nicotine levels could decrease the risk of teens getting addicted, JUUL is only releasing those new products in flavors teens don’t like. 

“Their sweet flavors like mango, fruit medley, and crème brulee are most popular among kids,” he said. 

JUUL is also entering the U.K. market, which limits nicotine levels to 1.7 percent. 

“Why don’t they launch that here?” Koval said. “Clearly, they know that the product is going to be a lot more addictive with higher levels of nicotine, and that’s been the tobacco industry model since year one.”

That’s not the kind of thing JUUL wants to hear. Underage use is the dark stain on an otherwise fairytale success story, and the company is determined to battle the perception that it’s profiting from teen addiction. 

“Amazon’s Choice.”

Image: Amazon

“JUUL is intended for current adult smokers only. We cannot be more emphatic on this point: no minor or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL,” the company said in response to the Truth Initiative’s concerns. 

So far, the government has taken minor action. The FDA sent a letter to JUUL and other e-cigarette makers in May requesting internal documents “to better understand the youth appeal” of their products. JUUL said it has complied with the FDA’s request. 

Tech companies could also do more to stop the spread of JUUL. Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat should provide more data on who is creating and consuming JUUL content, Koval said. And Amazon could stop selling skins — stickers that wrap around JUUL vapes — on its site. At the very least, it could remove the ones featuring cartoons and video games, including Rick and Morty and Fortnite

“I don’t think young people are taking up JUUL because they want to get addicted to nicotine,” Koval said. “They think it looks cool, it’s new, it comes in different flavors, and everyone is doing it.” 

With the help of those edgy “truth” ads, Truth Initiative saw teenage cigarette use in the U.S. drop from 23 percent in 2000 to less than 6 percent in 2018. It would be a shame if a product designed to help smokers quit actually stalled, or even reversed, that progress. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/

adminadminThe anti-smoking giant that wants to stop JUUL
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Juuls might be dangerous to use. But theyre definitely dangerous to throw away.

With no clear take-back program from Juul, these vaporizers are difficult to dispose of properly.
Image: lili sams/mashable

Your Juul may not kill you, but it’s definitely not doing the planet any favors.

Like many other delightfully small gadgets, the world’s hottest vape is miserable to dispose of without wasting parts or putting people in harm’s way. Juul devices pack a lot into a small package, including a lithium-ion battery, which could explode if mishandled. 

Though Juul Labs, the company behind the vaporizer, is on track to dominate a multi-billion dollar e-cig market this year, it’s made no clear effort to educate its customers about how to dispose of the Juul safely, nor has it established a trade-in program that would allow people to responsibly send their gadgets back when they’re no longer desired. 

Juul Labs has positioned itself as responsible company, with a product that could make the world a better place. Yes, it sells delicious nicotine pods that teenagers crave, but it also has a mission statement: “We envision a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire.” Without clear guidance on how to dispose of its devices, Juul Labs may only make the world worse, as wasteful electronic gadgets pile up and resources to create new ones become scarcer.

Juul’s devices are tiny and tricky to pull apart, like so many other gadgets. (Apple’s teensy AirPods have been called “impossible” to recycle.) And so the onus is on Juul Labs to reclaim them, especially as the devices become more popular. It’s made no effort to do so.

A lot of people are buying these. Even last fall, when Juul’s market share hovered around 32 percent, the company told CNBC it produced 20 million products every month. (That includes the device’s “pods,” which contain the nicotine-filled liquid the unit vaporizes for your inhaling pleasure.) Now, Juul reportedly accounts for 54 percent of the e-cig market.

The volume of production is reason for concern, according to Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit concerned with protecting people and the environment from e-waste. Small problems add up. Eventually, people will need to dispose of their Juuls, and they currently have few good ways to do so responsibly. No battery lasts forever, and the company doesn’t officially sell lithium-ion replacements or repair parts. 

“Lithium-ion batteries will lose their capacity at some point,” Puckett said. “And when it dies, people will likely throw it in the trash, absent an aggressive program to prevent that.” 

Juul has no such program. The company’s website doesn’t include any clear information about recycling, though it notes that its pods should not be refilled or reused. 

Reached by Mashable, Victoria Davis, a spokesperson for the company, said: 

We design our device to be reliable and strive to exceed our 1-year Limited Warranty period — this is not a disposable item like many other e-cigarettes. For disposal purposes, JUUL should be treated as any other consumer electronic device, such as a cell phone. We suggest following your city’s local recommendations for disposing of a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery.

Following “local recommendations” may be easier said than done. Many states have no specific battery recycling requirements. The same goes for cities.

Worse, not every recycling program behaves responsibly. As the Basel Action Network found in a 2016 investigation, U.S. recyclers will sometimes export e-waste to other countries.

It’s a simple cost-benefit game: Recycling is a business, but it’s not always one that pays off. Some devices contain few valuable parts. Others are labor-intensive to break apart. Slim smartphones, for example, are often shredded into pieces, from which some valuable metals are gathered and smelted. The process is as destructive and wasteful as it sounds.

You can see the Juul’s component parts on the company’s “Juul Labs” website. (Or could, anyway: Perhaps coincidentally, juullabs.com began to redirect to juul.com after Mashable reached out with questions about the page on Tuesday evening.) 

A cached version of juullabs.com, depicting the Juul’s component parts.

There’s quite a lot packed into a small and sleek package, which is probably why the company and its vapes have been compared to Apple and the iPhone. But there isn’t a lot of value in the Juul’s components — the device retails for $34.99 — so recycling companies won’t get a lot out of breaking them apart and reclaiming the parts.

“Recyclers are not going to be too keen to take them because a) they are filthy, and b) they are not going to be worth much in commodity value,” Puckett explained.

Kyle Wiens, the head of iFixit, echoed these concerns when approached about the Juul’s lifespan.

“They need to be manually disassembled and separated,” Wiens said. “I don’t see a major problem with the design from that perspective, except that they’re so small and lightweight that the economics wouldn’t work out great.” 

In other words, a small device with few valuable parts leaves little upside for recycling programs. No one is going to break a Juul apart to recover its parts.

And again: If these gadgets aren’t handled properly, their batteries could combust. Take a look at this video published by the nonprofit Ecomaine, reportedly showing the result of a lithium-ion battery fire at a recycling facility in Maine:

But this isn’t all about explosions, either. Electronic devices like the Juul — or iPhone, for that matter — rely to some extent on elements that are not in limitless supply on this planet. For example, lithium-ion batteries require cobalt, which is sourced from very few places, often at great human cost.  

In this regard, Juul Labs may have less of a cross to bear than, say, Apple or Samsung. The battery in a Juul vaporizer is certainly smaller than the one in your smartphone, and it doesn’t have a tantalum-packed processor nor speakers or a hard drive. You can also imagine that there are fewer potential vape-huffers in the world than there are potential smartphone users. (Though, for what it’s worth, 1.1 billion people still smoke worldwide — a pretty hefty demographic!)

But that’s all beside the point. Tech companies like Juul Labs, which nail some key innovation and then go on to rule industries where once there was stiff competition, should bear a proportionate responsibility to limit the harm they inflict on the planet. This is why Apple crows about its renewable energy innovations and iPhone-dismantling robots, though it still has quite a ways to go before it can be taken seriously as a “green” company.

Juuls are a big business. While the original device still sells like hotcakes, you can imagine the company — following perhaps every successful consumer tech firm to ever exist — is planning ways to eke more cash out of is existing customers. Juul Pods, as a literally addictive substance, are no doubt great for revenue. The inevitable Juul 2 or Juul XL will be, too.

And so, just as it’s committed $30 million to research and education about underage use, the company could set a meaningful agenda about e-waste. It’s a problem that will persist for Juul Labs and its contemporaries. But it could be mitigated by consumer education and a trade-in program similar to Apple’s “GiveBack” initiative, which gives people credit in exchange for their old devices.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

adminadminJuuls might be dangerous to use. But theyre definitely dangerous to throw away.
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Juuls might be dangerous to use. But theyre definitely dangerous to throw away.

With no clear take-back program from Juul, these vaporizers are difficult to dispose of properly.
Image: lili sams/mashable

Your Juul may not kill you, but it’s definitely not doing the planet any favors.

Like many other delightfully small gadgets, the world’s hottest vape is miserable to dispose of without wasting parts or putting people in harm’s way. Juul devices pack a lot into a small package, including a lithium-ion battery, which could explode if mishandled. 

Though Juul Labs, the company behind the vaporizer, is on track to dominate a multi-billion dollar e-cig market this year, it’s made no clear effort to educate its customers about how to dispose of the Juul safely, nor has it established a trade-in program that would allow people to responsibly send their gadgets back when they’re no longer desired. 

Juul Labs has positioned itself as responsible company, with a product that could make the world a better place. Yes, it sells delicious nicotine pods that teenagers crave, but it also has a mission statement: “We envision a world where fewer people use cigarettes, and where people who smoke cigarettes have the tools to reduce or eliminate their consumption entirely, should they so desire.” Without clear guidance on how to dispose of its devices, Juul Labs may only make the world worse, as wasteful electronic gadgets pile up and resources to create new ones become scarcer.

Juul’s devices are tiny and tricky to pull apart, like so many other gadgets. (Apple’s teensy AirPods have been called “impossible” to recycle.) And so the onus is on Juul Labs to reclaim them, especially as the devices become more popular. It’s made no effort to do so.

A lot of people are buying these. Even last fall, when Juul’s market share hovered around 32 percent, the company told CNBC it produced 20 million products every month. (That includes the device’s “pods,” which contain the nicotine-filled liquid the unit vaporizes for your inhaling pleasure.) Now, Juul reportedly accounts for 54 percent of the e-cig market.

The volume of production is reason for concern, according to Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit concerned with protecting people and the environment from e-waste. Small problems add up. Eventually, people will need to dispose of their Juuls, and they currently have few good ways to do so responsibly. No battery lasts forever, and the company doesn’t officially sell lithium-ion replacements or repair parts. 

“Lithium-ion batteries will lose their capacity at some point,” Puckett said. “And when it dies, people will likely throw it in the trash, absent an aggressive program to prevent that.” 

Juul has no such program. The company’s website doesn’t include any clear information about recycling, though it notes that its pods should not be refilled or reused. 

Reached by Mashable, Victoria Davis, a spokesperson for the company, said: 

We design our device to be reliable and strive to exceed our 1-year Limited Warranty period — this is not a disposable item like many other e-cigarettes. For disposal purposes, JUUL should be treated as any other consumer electronic device, such as a cell phone. We suggest following your city’s local recommendations for disposing of a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery.

Following “local recommendations” may be easier said than done. Many states have no specific battery recycling requirements. The same goes for cities.

Worse, not every recycling program behaves responsibly. As the Basel Action Network found in a 2016 investigation, U.S. recyclers will sometimes export e-waste to other countries.

It’s a simple cost-benefit game: Recycling is a business, but it’s not always one that pays off. Some devices contain few valuable parts. Others are labor-intensive to break apart. Slim smartphones, for example, are often shredded into pieces, from which some valuable metals are gathered and smelted. The process is as destructive and wasteful as it sounds.

You can see the Juul’s component parts on the company’s “Juul Labs” website. (Or could, anyway: Perhaps coincidentally, juullabs.com began to redirect to juul.com after Mashable reached out with questions about the page on Tuesday evening.) 

A cached version of juullabs.com, depicting the Juul’s component parts.

There’s quite a lot packed into a small and sleek package, which is probably why the company and its vapes have been compared to Apple and the iPhone. But there isn’t a lot of value in the Juul’s components — the device retails for $34.99 — so recycling companies won’t get a lot out of breaking them apart and reclaiming the parts.

“Recyclers are not going to be too keen to take them because a) they are filthy, and b) they are not going to be worth much in commodity value,” Puckett explained.

Kyle Wiens, the head of iFixit, echoed these concerns when approached about the Juul’s lifespan.

“They need to be manually disassembled and separated,” Wiens said. “I don’t see a major problem with the design from that perspective, except that they’re so small and lightweight that the economics wouldn’t work out great.” 

In other words, a small device with few valuable parts leaves little upside for recycling programs. No one is going to break a Juul apart to recover its parts.

And again: If these gadgets aren’t handled properly, their batteries could combust. Take a look at this video published by the nonprofit Ecomaine, reportedly showing the result of a lithium-ion battery fire at a recycling facility in Maine:

But this isn’t all about explosions, either. Electronic devices like the Juul — or iPhone, for that matter — rely to some extent on elements that are not in limitless supply on this planet. For example, lithium-ion batteries require cobalt, which is sourced from very few places, often at great human cost.  

In this regard, Juul Labs may have less of a cross to bear than, say, Apple or Samsung. The battery in a Juul vaporizer is certainly smaller than the one in your smartphone, and it doesn’t have a tantalum-packed processor nor speakers or a hard drive. You can also imagine that there are fewer potential vape-huffers in the world than there are potential smartphone users. (Though, for what it’s worth, 1.1 billion people still smoke worldwide — a pretty hefty demographic!)

But that’s all beside the point. Tech companies like Juul Labs, which nail some key innovation and then go on to rule industries where once there was stiff competition, should bear a proportionate responsibility to limit the harm they inflict on the planet. This is why Apple crows about its renewable energy innovations and iPhone-dismantling robots, though it still has quite a ways to go before it can be taken seriously as a “green” company.

Juuls are a big business. While the original device still sells like hotcakes, you can imagine the company — following perhaps every successful consumer tech firm to ever exist — is planning ways to eke more cash out of is existing customers. Juul Pods, as a literally addictive substance, are no doubt great for revenue. The inevitable Juul 2 or Juul XL will be, too.

And so, just as it’s committed $30 million to research and education about underage use, the company could set a meaningful agenda about e-waste. It’s a problem that will persist for Juul Labs and its contemporaries. But it could be mitigated by consumer education and a trade-in program similar to Apple’s “GiveBack” initiative, which gives people credit in exchange for their old devices.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a start.

Read more: http://mashable.com/

adminadminJuuls might be dangerous to use. But theyre definitely dangerous to throw away.
read more