E-cigarette manufacturer, Juul Labs, announced this week that it will stop selling a majority of its flavored e-cigarette pods in retail stores and halt social media promotions amid mounting government pressure and a public backlash over the steep increases in teen vaping. According to a report in The New York Times, this decision by the San Francisco-based e-cigarette manufacturer is a sign of backtracking by an industry that set out to offer these devices as a way for people to quit smoking but has now been blamed for nicotine addiction among nonsmoking teenagers.
Juul and Teen Vaping
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced recently that it was going to introduce a series of measures to curb the epidemic of teen vaping. The federal agency is expected to announce later this week that it will ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations and strengthen requirements for age verification of online sales of e-cigarettes. Juul products have soared in popularity among teens in recent months.
The company’s sleek-looking e-cigs dubbed the “iPhone of e-cigarettes,” look like flash drives and come in a variety of candy and fruity flavors appealing to young people. Last month, FDA officials conducted a surprise inspection of Juul Labs’ headquarters in San Francisco carting away more than a thousand documents relating to the company’s sales and marketing practices.
Federal regulators have scrutinized Juul and other e-cig manufacturers’ marketing campaigns that are tailored to draw young people, particularly teens, to their products. Juul is also facing lawsuits from parents who claim that their children have become hopelessly addicted to these products and that it is affecting their performance in school. Several research studies have also shown that e-cigarettes have harmful substances in them that could be potentially cancer-causing and lead to lung damage.
Is This Too Little Too Late?
Critics and public health advocates say Juul has done much damage with its social media campaigns capturing 75 percent of the e-cigarette market. They say Juul doesn’t even need those campaigns anymore because its young customers are serving as walking commercials for their products. Federal regulators are still looking into whether the company’s tactics were directly targeting minors.
Our law firm represents individuals who have been seriously affected by e-cigarettes. These products not only cause health issues but can also cause severe injuries because they have the potential to explode and catch fire. If you or a loved one has been injured by an e-cigarette, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to explore your legal rights and options.