Flavored Juul pods will no longer be sold in retail stores - but here's where you can still buy them
- Juul announced on Tuesday that it would temporarily stop selling flavored pods in stores, in a bid to curb an epidemic of teen vaping.
- Adult users were left wondering where they would still be able to purchase the pods.
- Juul will continue to sell the flavored pods on its own website, though customers will be asked to verify that they are over 21. Juul also said it would bring these products back to stores that invest in age-verification technology.
"JUUL Labs is committed to improving the lives of the world's one billion adult smokers, with the ultimate goal of eliminating cigarettes. While we have been working to solve that problem, another unintended and serious problem has developed - underage use of e-cigarettes, including JUUL," CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement at the time.Since it launched in the summer of 2017, Juul has achieved explosive growth and now accounts for 70% of the e-cigarette market.
Since then, it has come under scrutiny from public-health experts and scientists who worry about its popularity among young people. According to government data reported by The Washington Post, more than three million middle- and high-school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2017, and about one-third said the flavors were a big factor in their choice.
"As of this morning, we stopped accepting retail orders for our Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber Juul pods to the over 90,000 retail stores that sell our product, including traditional tobacco retailers (e.g., convenience stores) and specialty vape shops," Burns said in his statement on Tuesday. Juul will continue to offer its mint-, menthol-, and tobacco-flavored products.
The news left many adult smokers wondering how they will be able to get their Juul fix.
Where can you buy flavored Juul pods from now?
In his announcement online, Burns said that the mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber flavors will continue to be available for purchase on JUUL.com.To verify that customers are over 21, they will be asked to provide their name, date of birth, permanent address, and the last four digits of their social-security number. This information will be cross-checked with public records by a third party.
By the end of the year, Juul also plans to add further verification methods using a customer's phone number and by matching the customer's face against an uploaded government-issued ID.
In order to prevent customers from buying in bulk and selling these pods to teens, every purchaser will be restricted to two devices and 15 Juul pod packages per month, and to no more than 10 devices a year.
Will the pods ever come back to stores?
The company said that it will bring the flavored pods back to stores that comply with its own restrictions and invest in age-verification technology in the future. According to its announcement, this means that sellers would be required to show that these flavored pods are restricted and scan a customer's ID to confirm that they are over 21 if they wish to purchase.
In the meantime, Juul users will likely turn to alternative brands who are selling their own versions of the nicotine pods that are compatible with Juul pens.