The Food and Drug Administration is worried about the latest teenage craze. Teen use of electronic cigarettes is growing–especially the Juul device, which is considered so fetch in many underage circles that it has reached an “epidemic proportion,” writes the FDA, according to the New York Times.
The agency sent letters to Juul, along with other popular e-cigarette brands–as well as to over 1,100 retailers–demanding that they prove that e-cigarettes will stop being sold to the young folks. The FDA says more than 2 million middle and high schoolers regularly use the devices, and it wants both the makers and sellers to help curb this trend.
Though Juul is by far the most popular e-cigarette device, two other companies, Vuse and Blu, have also received warnings.
Organizations from around the country have been looking into whether the marketing tactics used by these companies specifically lure teens. Earlier this year, the FDA opened an inquiry into Juul’s practices, and has requested documents to show its strategy. The findings of this investigation have yet to be made public.
You can read the full New York Times article here.
Update: Juul has provided Fast Company with this statement:
JUUL Labs will work proactively with FDA in response to its request. We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people.
Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission.
Fontem Ventures, the owners of Blu, also provided Fast Company with this statement:
Fontem Ventures strongly believes that e-vapor products like blu and myblu are to be used only by adult smokers. Minors should not use any tobacco or nicotine products, and we fully support and advocate for both legislation prohibiting sales of vaping products to minors and the ongoing FDA enforcement action against retailers selling e-vapor and other tobacco products to minors.
We are evaluating today’s request and statement from the FDA. On youth access, we have common aims. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate, and work with the FDA to further strengthen, our youth access prevention policies and procedures. We will continue to work with regulators in the US and elsewhere to implement best practices in all our commercial activities.
Since 2009, blu has marketed e-vapor products to adult smokers in the US and around the world in a responsible manner. While youth smoking rates and use of combustible tobacco products have declined1 in the US, in line with trends in adult use, we fully understand and share current public concern about youth use of e-vapor products.