Juul Labs Targeted Schools, Taught Kids That Juuling Is Safe

In 2017 a Juul representative visited a New York school and told kids that juuling is “totally safe.”

A man wears a shirt that says 'ditch juul.'
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In 2017 a Juul representative visited a New York school and told kids that juuling is “totally safe.”

There has been a vast amount of misinformation out there about the Juul and whether or not it is truly safe or a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. This sleek, subtle vaping device has been making its way through American schools for the past couple of years. Its flavored pods like mango, mint, and fruit medley have appealed to the younger customer base and led to many minors getting hooked on nicotine at an early age. While the Juul was originally supposedly intended to help adult smokers kick the habit once and for all, some of the company’s actions in the past suggest that they have also targeted minors, according to The New York Times.

Each Juul pod contains the amount of nicotine that would be in a full pack of traditional cigarettes, thus making it highly addictive. However, it doesn’t contain tobacco or some of the other harmful chemicals that are found in a cigarette. It’s for this reason that many minors have been caused to falsely believe that the Juul is totally safe and healthy. Nevertheless, nicotine has been known to negatively affect brain development. This is concerning especially for younger consumers — some who are as young as middle school — whose brains are not fully developed yet.

Just last summer, Juul paid a charter school in Maryland to start a summer program focused upon teaching kids healthy lifestyle choices. The curriculum was created by Juul Labs, the same company that the FDA has been after for years. The Food and Drug Administration has made many attempts to restrict the sales of these devices and their flavored pods, which are sold at gas stations and convenience stores all across the nation. While you have to be 18-years-old to purchase these products and show identification, many minors simply have an older friend make the purchase for them.

Juul also reportedly visited a New York school in 2017 and told students that e-cigarettes are “totally safe.”

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In a public statement, Julie Henderson, director of Juul’s youth prevention and education program, addressed concerns that the company appears to be trying to convince kids that the products are healthy.

“Just spoke with Ashley and she shares my concern about the optics of us attending a student health fair given our new understanding of how much our efforts seem to duplicate those of Big Tobacco. (Philip Morris attended fairs and carnivals where they distributed various branded items under the guise of ‘youth prevention.’)”