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Juul is shutting down on social media, halting retail orders for flavored pods

Juul

The FDA in September advised makers of the top-selling e-cigarette manufacturers they needed to submit plans inside 60 days to fight underage use. 


Eva Hambach / AFP/Getty Images

Juul Labs is quitting social media. 

The firm mentioned Tuesday that it is eliminating its accounts on Facebook and Instagram, and can restrict its Twitter presence to “non-promotional communications only.” Its YouTube channel will solely be used for sharing testimonials of former grownup people who smoke who now use Juul, the corporate mentioned, and solely customers ages 21 and up will have the ability to entry the content material.   

“By deterring social media promotion of the JUUL system by exiting our accounts, we can better prevent teens and non-smokers from ever becoming interested in the device,” Juul CEO Kevin Burns mentioned in a press release.

Juul mentioned it is also requested Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to ban content material selling e-cigarette use by these underage.  

The US Food and Drug Administration has been cracking down on e-cigarette producers. It’s expressed considerations that Juul was luring in underage customers. In April, the FDA requested information from Juul about its advertising and marketing practices and its enchantment to teenagers, and introduced an effort to stop youth from using tobacco products, significantly e-cigarettes. In September, the company advised makers of the 5 top-selling e-cigarette manufacturers — Juul, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigarettes and Logic — that they needed to submit plans inside 60 days outlining how they’ll tackle youth access and use of their products.

“Juul Labs and FDA share a common goal — preventing youth from initiating on nicotine,” Burns mentioned within the launch. “We want to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted about Juul’s motion plan on Tuesday, saying: “We’re deeply concerned about the epidemic of youth use of e-cigs. Voluntary action is no substitute for regulatory steps #FDA will soon take. But we want to recognize actions by JUUL today and urge all manufacturers to immediately implement steps to start reversing these trends.”

As of Tuesday morning, Juul mentioned it stopped accepting retail orders for flavored Juul pods like mango, fruit, creme and cucumber to the greater than 90,000 retail areas that promote the product. These flavors will solely be accessible on Juul’s web site, the place further age-verification measures will assist preserve underage individuals out, the corporate mentioned. 

Customers on Juul’s web site have to offer their identify, birthday, everlasting deal with and the final 4 digits of their Social Security quantity. “This information is verified by a third party and cross-referenced with publicly available records to confirm the person is at least 21 years of age,” in response to the discharge. Customers who do not wish to present their Social Security quantity need to add a authorities ID, which is then reviewed by somebody on Juul’s compliance crew. 

To stop individuals from shopping for in bulk and distributing merchandise to minors, prospects cannot purchase greater than two units and 15 Juul pod packages a month, and 10 units a 12 months. 

By the top of the 12 months, Juul mentioned its verification system will embrace two-factor authentication and a real-time picture requirement that matches an individual’s face with an uploaded ID. 

This 12 months, Juul has labored with on-line marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba and Amazon to do away with greater than 23,000 third-party listings of Juul merchandise and counterfeits, it mentioned. 

The firm additionally mentioned it will solely begin accepting orders once more for mango, cucumber, fruit and creme pods from retail areas that may legally promote flavors, and that adjust to a collection of latest tips, akin to electronically scanning IDs for flavored pod purchases and limiting the amount of pod gross sales to a person. 

Juul mentioned it is also “developing end-to-end traceability to track where a specific Juul device or Juul pod was purchased to focus enforcement efforts on bad actors.” One of the best methods to do that is via a serial quantity, the corporate mentioned. 

Burns mentioned he hopes parts of Juul’s plan are carried out all through the business.

“If implemented across the category, these actions will have the greatest impact in restricting access and ultimately decreasing underage use, along with 21+ laws on all tobacco products,” he mentioned.

CNET Magazine: Check out a pattern of the tales in CNET’s newsstand version.

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