The San Francisco start-up, JUUL Labs, is under scrutiny after class action lawsuits filed against the company allege it illegally marketed their vape products to minors. The JUUL vape pen, which is the size of a USB flash drive, first came onto the market in June 2015 and has grown seven-fold in 2018. JUUL now accounts for two-thirds of the e-cigarette market in the United States, primarily through the sale of its potent 5 percent nicotine salt cartridges.
Juul Lab, touting its website’s age verification system, denies that it has marketed to teens or targeted them in any way. Not true, according to Robert Jackler, M.D., the principal investigator at Stanford University School of Medicine’s program that studies the impact of tobacco advertising. According to Dr. Jackler, underage visitors who were denied access to the company’s website were nevertheless automatically added to JUUL’s email subscription list and received promotional material related to its vape products. These marketing campaigns often highlighted new fruity flavors and offered discounts on the JUUL starter kit. The company denies it maintains this practice of targeting minors.
The lawsuits allege JUUL Labs marketed to children through social media and email campaigns, as well as with sweet fruity flavors reminiscent of candy or popular children snack foods.
The FDA has previously sent warning letters to companies using fruit flavors mimicking children’s candy and popular children cereal flavors. The FDA sent 13 letters on May 1, 2018 and then another four more recently. One company went so far as to package candy with their e-liquid, which is poisonous and could kill a child if consumed.
In 2015 a JUUL research and development engineer said to the Verge: “We don’t think a lot about addication here because we’re not trying to design a cessation product at all” and “anything about health is not on our mind”.
Dr. Jackler, whose program at Stanford studies tobacco advertising, stated that JUUL Labs targeted children and teens from the very beginning and that these initial campaigns for the young company were no accident.
Levin Simes Abrams represents vape users injured in vape battery explosions. If you have an injury, or if you wish to talk to us about underage JUUL vaping, talk to a vape lawyer today. Contact us at 1-888-426-4156 or email us at [email protected]
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