According to the CDC, over 2 million high school and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes. Youths are more likely than adults to start vaping, and health groups are concerned this could lead to health issues and addiction.
Juul is one of the biggest manufacturers of e-cigarettes. And the firm has also been accused of fuelling the teen vaping epidemic through its marketing and sales practices.
For example, there have been accusations of it selling devices to underage consumers in shops, and of targeting children and teenagers with its choice of flavours. Juul has been condemned by the FDA, which said in 2017 that the company needs to change its policies.
CEO Kevin Burns recently apologised to parents. He said: “First of all, I’d tell them that I’m sorry that their child’s using the product. It’s not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to them. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I’m sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they’re going through.”
In light of this, Juul has announced it will be introducing a new POS age-verification system. It hopes that it will reduce the use of its products among young people in the US.
Juul is partnering with retailers in order to implement its program, the “Retail Access Control Standards Program”, which CEO Kevin Burns describes as “the strictest age-verification system ever required for age-restricted products.”
The guidelines include:
- ID scanning to verify the customer’s age
- A ban on bulk purchasing
- Sales assistants won’t be able to override the system
- These guidelines must be implemented by May 2021
In a statement, Juul said that teen vaping is “a serious and urgent problem”. It added “At JUUL Labs, we have no higher priority than combating youth use. Today, we are implementing a series of new measures to combat the serious problem of youth access, appeal, and use of vapor products.”