Last year, we announced our action plan, laying out our multi-pronged strategy for curbing underage use of our products in the U.S. We have taken many steps to implement this plan, such as currently restricting non-tobacco/non-menthol-based flavored JUUL products to our secure website, JUUL.com, where adults must be 21 or over to purchase.
As of January 2019, we have implemented all of the online age verification enhancements we outlined in our plan to ensure no one under the age of 21 can buy any JUUL products on our website, regardless of flavor, while preventing bulk purchases to all customers.
To make a purchase on our website, a customer must first create an account. When a new user creates an account going forward, or an existing user returns to our website for the first time since rolling out this feature last November, we ask that they input their cell phone number for verification. We then send a code to their phone that must be confirmed with us to move forward and make an account on JUUL.com. Two-factor authentication will further improve identity verification and create additional barriers to prevent someone from using another person’s information.
If we are unable to confirm that the account holder is 21 or over through publicly available records, or if they don’t wish to enter the last four digits of their social security number, they’re asked to upload the front and back of a photo I.D. that is then checked by our system and an age verification expert. A user will also be asked upload a photo of themselves to match against the photo on their I.D. This extra layer of protection, which utilizes automated facial-recognition technology, as well as a review by a human expert, will guard against a user using someone else’s I.D.
Extra Background Checks and Better Checks Against Fake I.D.s
On top of the upgrades we have made to our age verification system that users interact with, we’ve also made improvements that work in the background to ensure that a user is 21 or over, such as using an account-holder’s phone number as an extra public-records check. We’ve also put extra protections in place that provide a more stringent verification process to protect against fake I.D.s., both with our advanced fake I.D. detection algorithm and our human verification experts.
JUUL Labs has always made our online age verification process a top priority. We have an industry-leading online age verification system, and we will continue to observe and improve our system, through security and innovation, to ensure that no underage user obtains our product.