Youth use of vapor products remains an urgent issue, and JUUL Labs shares public concerns over the reported increase in use among youth, which is why we have initiated meaningful measures to limit access and appeal of JUUL products to those underage.
In November 2018, we launched a comprehensive action plan to combat youth usage in order to preserve the potential public-health impact for the 34 million adult smokers in the United States. These actions include:
We strongly support responsible legislation, such as raising the minimum-purchasing age for tobacco products, including vapor products like JUUL, to 21 years of age. We know that obtaining tobacco products from friends or siblings who are of legal age, often high school seniors or recent graduates, is the main contributor to youth access and use.
In November of 2018, we suspended the distribution of Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber to traditional retail stores. These flavors are only currently available online at www.JUUL.com. Our website includes industry leading age-verification technology to restrict purchases to those 21 and older and limit the amount of product that can be purchased to prevent social-sourcing.
Since we submitted our action plan, we have strengthened our e-commerce platform to further restrict underage and bulk purchases:
We have ramped up our secret-shopper program four-fold – from 500 to 2,000 shops per month – checking against age-verification and bulk-purchasing (2 devices and 5 pod packages per transaction) restrictions, as well as revised our policy and notified retailers that we will penalize them for FDA CMP violations.
We exited our U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts, and we are continuously working to remove inappropriate third-party social media content in partnership with major social media companies. Third-party users generate more than 99 percent of all social media content related to JUUL.
We have started the process to build a robust product tracking system. Ultimately, we will be able to trace a device confiscated from an underage user back through the distribution channel, potentially identifying the retailer that sold the product, and take appropriate action. Additionally, we are moving full-steam ahead with the development of our Bluetooth-connected device that could incorporate user-level access restrictions.