The Broken Netflix docu series aired on the 27th of November, and amongst other topics, looks into issues related to vaping. Broken‘s vaping episode tackles the infamous EVALI outbreak and also zooms in on JUUL products and their popularity among adolescents. “We have seen a rise in youth use of e-cigarettes that is unprecedented in our history,” says an expert in the trailer.
Meanwhile, also in the trailer, JUUL co-founder Adam Bowen emphasizes once again that their products were never meant to target teens. “We are absolutely against any use of our product by minors,” he said.
Measures taken by Juul to curb access to their products
In line with the above, in 2018, Juul Labs Inc. had announced its plans to stop selling most of its flavoured nicotine liquids at bricks-and-mortar stores. The e-cig manufacturer had said that it would keep on selling menthol and tobacco-flavored products in stores, and that all the other flavours would remain available for sale on its website, which has age-verification controls.
However, in response to Trump’s announcement a couple of months’ back, that all flavoured vaping products would be banned, Juul had recently also stopped selling its flavoured pods online, leaving only its mint, menthol and tobacco flavoured nicotine pods available for sale.
Yet this was still not enough. Newly released data by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has shown that teenagers surveyed in 2019, preferred mint and mango Juul flavors. Mint however, was the most popular flavour amongst 10th- and 12th-grade Juul users and the second most popular flavor amongst eighth-grade users.
Additionally, of the surveyed students, 18% reported recent e-cigarette use, with nearly 13% saying they use Juul. To this effect, Juul has also banned mint pods, leaving only menthol and its two tobacco flavoured products available for sale.
Gottlieb: Juul’s measures are not working
Juul is clearly doing its utmost to gain credibility, however former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that this data indicates that any measures to prevent teen access set in place by Juul Labs are not working. Juul products should just be taken off the market, concluded Gottlieb. “It’s very clear that Juul can’t keep their products out of the hands of kids,” he said. “What’s driving the youth use is primarily Juul.