The Precedent

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Juul’s new restrictions more of a PR stunt than anything

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According to administration, approximately six students are caught vaping on campus each week. Underage usage is not a Perry problem, but rather a national epidemic. Recently the Federal Drug Administration has stepped in to combat underage vaping.

With 3.6 million high school and junior high school students using these products, one of the most popular E-Cigarette companies plans to withdraw half of its flavors and increase age verification security to protect minors from falling victim to this deadly trend.

On Nov. 13, Juul Labs, Inc. published a press release explaining what efforts they will take to limit E-Cigarette usage by children.

According to CEO Kevin Burns, Juul products can now only be purchased after a customer enters their name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of their social security number. Coming soon online, customers will face a series of age-verification steps including text-codes, government ID, and facial recognition checks – all put into practice to reduce underage vaping.

Everything that Juul is saying sounds great, but at the end of the day, was this a proactive effort from an industry leader or a reactive attempt to appear like they care?

Like alcohol, drugs, or anything an underage person wants, they will be able to get a it, no matter what companies do.

Even with Juul’s restrictions, minors are still able to purchase these products from websites such as eBay and Amazon without proper age verification.

“Our intent was never to have youth use Juul products,” Burns said. “But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of E-Cigarette products is a problem.”

They state that their products are marketed exclusively towards adults wanting to quit smoking; although they offer four options that mimic the taste of cigarettes, there are four additional flavors such as mango and crème. Juul proudly states that they do not sell a “Gummy Bear or Cotton Candy [flavors], which are clearly targeted to kids.”

Burns claims the company plans to eliminate four flavors popular amongst teenagers, however, the flavors that cannot be found in-store will be available on Juul’s website.

Additionally, they plan to hinder minors from product usage by limiting a customer to 15 pod packages and two devices a month.

According to Truth Initiative – a movement to end underage smoking – one Juul pod encases the nicotine equivalent of 20 cigarettes. This means a user can devour a pod or two daily oblivious to the damage happening to their body.

And teens don’t have addictive personalities or anything…

It seems that Juul only released this statement to ease the public minds in a week when the FDA took a stand.

 

 

 

 

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About the Writer
Isabel Behrendt, Staff Reporter

Isabel Behrendt is a sophomore and is a first-year journalism student. She will be writing about the arts and marching band for the 2018-2019 school year....

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Juul’s new restrictions more of a PR stunt than anything