Juul to make new e-cigarette that only unlocks for users aged at least 21 via an app
Juul Labs, Inc is reportedly developing a new vaporizer that is designed to only unlock for users older than 21.
The e-cigarette maker says an app will lock the device and it will only unlock if users can verify that they are above the legal age to smoke in the US, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The San Francisco-based company plans to submit its proposal to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by May 12.
It comes as Juul is hit with more lawsuits that allege it targeted teens and misrepresented the possible health risks of using its products, but the company claims it’s committed to fighting the vaping epidemic
Juul Labs, Inc is planning to submit a proposal to the US Food and Drug Administration by May 12 for a new device that will only unlock if users can verify that they are at least 21 years old (file image)
The Journal reports that Juul’s FDA proposal will be more than 250,000 pages long and include more than 110 scientific studies, a new marketing campaign and plans for reducing youth vaping.
Also included will be research that reportedly shows Juul’s products have lower levels of carcinogens and toxins compared to cigarette smoke.
There are also expected to be submissions over the next few years so Juul can legally market its vapes as less harmful than cigarettes.
Juul has already introduced e-cigarettes with an age-proof lock in the UK and in Canada, according to The Journal.
The mobile app that unlocks the device can also track nicotine consumption.
To use the device, one must submit a photo as well as a government ID when first logging onto the app.
‘We are committing all necessary resources to submit a scientifically rigorous PMTA designed to provide FDA with the science and evidence needed to assess the role our products can play moving smokers away from cigarettes, while combatting underage use,’ Juul said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
‘We respect the PMTA process and look forward to sharing our comprehensive scientific research program.’
The San-Francisco company was widely implicated in the outbreak of vaping-linked lung illnesses that began last year, peaking in September 2019 and declining ever since.
New figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Tuesday show more than 2,800 people have been hospitalized and at least 68 people have died in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
States with deaths include:
- California (4)
- District of Columbia
- Florida (2)
- Georgia (6)
- Illinois (5)
- Indiana (6)
- Kansas (2)
- Louisiana (2)
- Massachusetts (5)
- Michigan (3)
- Minnesota (3)
- Missouri (2)
- New Jersey
- New York (4),
- Oregon (2)
- Rhode Island,
- South Carolina
- Tennessee (2)
- Texas (4)
- Washington (2)
Most of the victims who’ve fallen ill are male and under the age of 35, with the ages of those who died ranging from 17 to 75.
The majority of illnesses have resulted from people vaping a combination of THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, and nicotine
Although Juul’s products contain nicotine, not THC, politicians have used the epidemic to try and regulate the e-cigarette maker.
Several states and school districts have sued Juul including California, New York and North Carolina, and DC, claiming the e-cigarette maker’s ad campaigns targeted young people and did not warn them about the risks of nicotine.
It comes as 39 states – led by the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – launch an investigation into Juul Labs, according to a news release.
The investigation will focus on the company’s marketing techniques including whether it targeted under age users, claims made about the nicotine in products and statements made about whether Juul helped former smokers quite.
And, in a sign of Juul’s struggling times, the company laid off its staff of 80 in Singapore and fired its two top executives in Europe and southern Asia, reported BuzzFeed News.
The move is expected to help Juul in its goal to cut back $1billion in spending in 2020.