Juul’s Latest Effort to Prevent Sales to Kids Is Too Little Too Late

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
August 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Juul’s announcement that it is implementing new measures to prevent sales to kids is the latest example of the company doing too little too late to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic created by its sweet-flavored, high-nicotine products.

Efforts to curtail illegal sales to kids are a positive step, but won’t solve the problem so long as Juul and other flavored e-cigarettes that entice kids remain widely available. So long as Juul and other manufacturers continue to sell products with kid-friendly designs and flavors and marketing that makes the products cool, history shows that kids will find a way to get them. Rather than voluntary half-measures by manufacturers, we need effective regulation of e-cigarettes by the FDA and other policy makers, starting with a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The science is clear: 97% of youth e-cigarette users used a flavored product in the past month, and 70% of youth users cite flavors as a key reason.

Juul’s announcement is an effort to divert attention from the fact that it caused the youth epidemic with its sleek, easy-to-hide product, sweet flavors like mango and mint, and massive doses of nicotine – launched with social media marketing that a Stanford study found was patently youth-oriented. Juul is responsible for creating the youth e-cigarette epidemic, and its half-measures won’t undo the harm it is causing to a generation of kids.