FDA cracking down on Juul company


Picture of a Juul vaping device (courtesy of juul.com)

Shawn Gaul

Staff writer

Bad news for Juul users, the FDA has been investigating their target market of young teens. With flavors such as mango, cucumber, fruit melody, and crème brûlée it has you wondering, is the Juul the alternative for adult smokers or a gateway for teen nicotine addiction?

Ever since the e-cigarette, Juul gained its popularity in teen vaping between high school and middle school, where use is now reportedly very high. According to Quartz, 3.5 million minors vaped at least once in 2018. They are replacing all of the fruit flavored or non cigarette flavors to try and reduce the teen target marketing.

The flavors that will remain are classic menthol and mint. This is due to the replication of an actual cigarette if an adult smoker is trying to quit. Eliminating these products is an attempt to decrease the size of the vaping population of minors.

The use of nicotine could affect a lot of teens and the way their brain thinks. Getting hooked on nicotine could be a financial and mental issue. Nicotine affects the brain the same way as cocaine and heroin, it triggers a release of dopamine.

“Nicotine has an addictive quality and chemicals which can impact your behavior and thought process,” says Lisa Demers, the school nurse.

Packs of Juul pods are around $16 and they contain four Juul pods. At a rate of one pack a week this expense could be $768 a year. This can be a financial hardship.

Junior Kevin Nelson, when asked if they should they ban fruit flavors, says, “I think they should ban these fruit pods. What adult is going to want to quit cigarettes and use something that tastes like fruit. This is part of the reason why they want to cut these flavors from the market.”

Taking these flavors away also could impact Juul’s business. Also, this is just a business and taking away profitable products could impact their sales. Mango, fruit, crème brûlée, and cucumber are now only available on Juul.com. Products can only be purchased with a verification that you are at least 21 years of age.  

The new e-cigarette trend is also spreading concerns for parents of teens that are vaping. “We don’t know what these chemicals can do to your body. I think it’s dangerous and no kid should be doing it,” says Linda Deangelo.