Major e-cigarette company Juul has been under pressure by the FDA for some time, due to the number of underage consumers purchasing their vape products. Vaping has been on a rise recently, with many children and teens taking part in the trend by using Juul’s easy-to-conceal device. The Juul itself, as well as the cartridges, known as pods, can be purchased at just about any local gas station or convenience store. Yes, you are supposed to be 18-years-old to purchase the product, but many underage users have of course found ways around that stipulation. The result is that many young people are getting hooked on nicotine, a problem that FDA is fighting hard to regulate, according to Gizmodo.
The original purpose of the Juul was to help long-time cigarette smokers quit the habit once and for all. While the Juul cartridges do not contain many of the harmful substances found in traditional cigarettes, one pod reportedly contains the same amount of nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. The FDA now states that the benefits potentially yielded by these devices to adult smokers have been outweighed by the consequences of such an influx of underage consumption.
Juul has launched an experimental track-and-trace program meant to curb teen vaping, perhaps as an attempt to appease the FDA and other government agencies. The e-cig company has been in authorities' crosshairs since last year due to its products' po… https://t.co/SdEGxnXI0r
— Jason Caston (@jasoncaston) April 13, 2019
Prior to his recent resignation, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called youth vaping an “epidemic” and spoke of the dangers it poses to public health. He stated that if underage consumption isn’t regulated, the devices could be pulled from the market altogether.
In an effort to appease the FDA, Juul now intends to enact a new tracking system that is still in its pilot stage. Known as the Track & Trace program, Juul devices will be tracked using their serial number which can be found at the base of the product. When adults confiscate a Juul from a minor, they are encouraged to enter the serial number into Juul’s web portal. Juul will then will be able to use this information to determine a general idea of where the Juul was purchased. From there, they plan to narrow down tracking information and locate the sources that are providing minors with these products.
Juul released a public statement regarding their new tracking and regulation plan, claiming that the new system will be a step towards preventing the ongoing issue of underage vaping.
“JUUL Labs is committed to preventing underage use of JUUL products through technological solutions, which is why we are developing an end-to-end tracking system to better understand how our products are getting into the hands of minors.”