There is a lot of buzz about the JUUL, an electronic cigarette that is popular with young people. The JUUL is manufactured by JUUL Labs, a company that spun off from Silicon Valley company Pax Labs in 2017. With 55% percent market share, JUUL is now the most popular electronic cigarette on the market. The e-juice cartridges or “pods” are available in a variety of youth-friendly flavors , such as fruit medley and mango).
A search of Instagram and Twitter finds hundreds of threads devoted to JUUL vapor tricks, “JUUL-ing” in high school, how to hide your JUUL-ing from unsuspecting parents and teachers, etc. JUUL resembles a sleek USB flash drive, and this design makes it easy for young people to hide use of the product in schools. Some school districts are prohibiting flash drives in school because it is so hard to tell the difference between a JUUL and a flash drive. Users charge their JUULs by plugging the devices into a USB port on a computer, which adds to the confusion.
According to JUUL’s website, the company’s mission is to “improve the life of the world’s one billion adult smokers.” The website goes on to say that “Core to this mission is preventing the illegal sale of our products to youth” and “…at JUUL Labs we are committed to combating underage use of our product.” However, in order to browse the company’s website one must only click a button indicating they are over 21 years of age, and the company has pages on youth-friendly social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.