Even before that, federal agencies had launched a wave of stringent measures against retailers selling e-cigarettes, including the popular Juul brand, to minors. The concern of lawyers and public health officials these sales could be an emerging disaster, reversing the years of declines in smoking.
E-cigarettes can be tiny – they might look like a pen or an instant unit. When someone vapes, there is no fire, ash or smoky smell. Instead, the units heat and vaporize a liquid or a solid. And vaping seems to take off among the young.
“Believe me,” said Julien Lavandier, 21. “It is a habit for me, you know – continuously, when I set my schoolwork to do the task, to capture a rip of the Juul. When I get in my car, take a rip of the Juul. ”
Lavandier, now a student at Colorado State University, started vaping when he was a sophomore in High School. He said he would go to parties where it was common to smoke an e-cigarette.
“Initially,” he said, “it was a lot, knowing, chasing the flavors, or doing tricks and that of smoking was really what impressed me. I thought, you know, this is cool, this looks like something fun. ”
He told the students at his high school vaped in the class without knowing the teachers. He estimated that a quarter of his classmates were regular e-cigarette users. Lavandier began vaping regularly and later began smoking traditional cigarettes.
When Juul arrived on the service, he took that too and found it causing addiction. He liked it more than marijuana or alcohol.
“It’s impossible to let go once you start using it,” Lavandier said. “I’ll tell you – even after an hour and a half or two, I chomping at the bit to find my Juul.”
Memories are not supposed to sell e-cigarettes to minors, but Lavandier said he has been buying them for years and never once been carded. In April, FDA asked the firm behind Juul for documents to see if it is intentionally marketing to teens made without age.
The company has online testimonials and has developed the online community around their product. In a video, a woman in her 30s named Lauren says she is constantly “encouraging people to use this and not to smoke your cigarettes.”
Representatives from the decreasing Juul laboratories repeated requests for an interview. In a written statement, the company said its product offers “a true alternative to adult smokers, not anyone else, not minors.”