Though Juul claims its devices aren’t marketed for teenagers, fruity flavors and an attractive name leave critics second guessing the company’s intentions.
The popular e-cigarette company has often claimed their product serves as a device to help smokers switch to a “healthier” habit. But, Juul quickly rose in popularity with a much younger demographic.
Though the company has made efforts to fix this issue and refocus their advertising on older consumers, many think the damage has already been done.
Several claims of Juul-related illnesses have been made by teenagers across the country.
According to CNN, 18-year-old Adam Hergenreder’s vaping habit almost killed him. After vaping for over a year and a half, doctors say Hergenreder’s lungs are similar to those of a 70-year-old.
“It was scary to think about that — that little device did that to my lungs,” Hergenreder told CNN.
But Hergenreder isn’t the only person to experience negative health effects from using Juul’s products. He’s among hundreds of e-cigarette users who have been sickened with mysterious vaping-related lung illnesses, leaving investigators baffled.
This isn’t the only controversy surrounding the popular e-cigarette company at the moment.
JUUL Labs’ marketing campaign “Make the Switch” earned the company a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration.
According to the FDA’s letter, JUUL Labs was advised to stop their ad campaign that recommended consumers switch from regular cigarettes to Juul’s “healthier” alternative.
The FDA expressed concern about the ads’ portrayal of Juul as a safer alternative to cigarettes. This claim would need to be approved by the FDA before being included in an ad campaign and the company has not yet submitted an application with the FDA to approve it.
Both controversies have intertwined into a big mess for the company, amidst claims that JUUL Labs presented their products at schools and summer camps, emphasizing the idea that they may have deliberately marketed to teenagers.
Across the country, millions of teenagers reported using Juuls or similar e-cigarette products, causing federal health officials and the president to call for a crackdown on flavored e-cigarettes.