Juul sets up a web portal to help narc on businesses that enable vaping teens

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Don't be a bad teen.
Don’t be a bad teen.

Image: Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe / Getty

Juul doesn’t want teens hitting its vapes. The company promises. 

Facing a rising tide of criticism for underage use of its e-cigarettes, vape manufacturer Juul is taking a new approach aimed at cracking down on teen use. Specifically, the company launched an online tool designed to track how specific vapes find their way into the hands of minors. 

The idea, as explained by Juul, seems pretty straightforward. If a parent or teacher confiscates one of the company’s e-cigarettes from a minor, the authority figure should head on over to a new web portal and enter the device’s serial number along with a few additional details. This will, at least in theory, allow the company to figure out how the youths are getting their tiny hands on its nicotine delivery devices. 

“We are implementing product traceability that will allow us, through confiscated product, to identify where youth are obtaining Juul products,” reads a page explaining the company’s “youth prevention” efforts. “We will share this information with FDA, and take actions immediately to address these access points for youth.”

Log it.

In other words, if Juul realizes that a bunch of confiscated vapes were all sold from the same shop, perhaps that shopkeeper isn’t ID’ing customers well enough. Or maybe someone’s older brother buys his vape goods there. 

Either way, it’s an additional piece of a multifaceted plan to prevent kids from vaping. Another interesting idea, seemingly in development, is to lock each vape to a specific age-verified user. 

“We will develop a new user-authenticated Juul device that can prevent those underage from using the product,” explains the aforementioned youth prevention page. 

While it’s unclear how the latter idea would work exactly, it’s heartening to see the company make an effort to reduce teen vaping — even it requires parents narcing out their own kids. 

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