E-cigarette giant Juul announced Tuesday intentions to pull its flavored products from retail stores, namely convenience stores and vape shops.
Sales of flavored pods, such as creme and fruit, will be restricted to people 21 and up solely on Juul’s secure website.
Juul is not restricting all of its products, just the ones arguably the most appealing to kids in an effort to curb underage vaping.
Adult e-cigarette users will still be able to purchase Juul’s tobacco and menthol products from participating retailers.
The decision comes after an FDA crackdown on kids using vaping products.
Dr. Mark Rumback, a pulmonologist with Tampa General Hospital and USF Health, explains experts don’t know the long-term health risks of vaping because it’s relatively new.
However, he is concerned about its prevalence among youth. According to the FDA, at least 3.5 million kids vape.
“I think it’s a good thing that they’re making it more difficult for the kids to get,” he said. “You’re still taking something like nicotine and inhaling it into your lungs, which can’t be too good.”
South Tampa Vape on Dale Mabry Hwy sells a variety of cigarette alternatives, but not Juul.
Employee Mike Cherup says Juul’s popularity with kids and teens made the product too much of a liability, and unlike other vape shops, they’ve never carried it.
Cherup explained they promote their products to get smokers off cigarettes, not as something for non-smokers to get hooked on.
With hundreds of other options on the market, he’s not worried about Juul’s bad reputation sending the entire vape industry up in smoke.
“I don’t think there’s anything to fear for anybody who isn’t Juul,” he said.
Juul also announced Tuesday plans to discontinue using Facebook and Instagram, as social media marketing is another draw for youth users.
E-cigarette maker blu released similar sales restrictions as well.