Published On: Tue, Apr 24th, 2018

U.S. cracks down on Juul e-cigarette sales to kids

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are cracking down on underage use of a popular e-cigarette brand following months of complaints from parents, politicians and school administrators.

The FDA said Tuesday it had issued warnings to 40 retail and online stores as part of a nationwide operation against illegal sales of Juul (JOO’-uhl) to children. 

Like other e-cigarettes, Juul is an electronic device that vaporizes liquid nicotine into an inhalable vapor. Thanks in part to its resemblance to a small computer flash drive, Juul has become popular with some teenagers as a discreet way to vape at school and in public.

“In some cases, our kids are trying these products and liking them without even knowing they contain nicotine,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

A recent study in Tobacco Control found that 63 percent of Juul users didn’t know the product always contains nicotine. 

As part of the FDA initiative, regulators are asking Juul Labs to turn over documents about the design and marketing of its devices.

Juul, which is based in San Francisco, says it monitors retailers to ensure they are following the law.

The company had nearly 47 percent of the e-cigarette market in January, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. That makes it more popular than Marlboros are among traditional cigarettes.

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