WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - JUUL Labs is temporarily suspending sales of its mango, cucumber, creme and fruit flavored pods in retail stores. The move follows growing pressure from the FDA to keep the tobacco products out of teens hands.
The JUUL device is a hit with underage Teens. It is known for its popular for its sweet e-cig flavors and discreet design that resembles a flash drive.
The company is also working to limit website sales to those 21 and older, and has taken down its social media pages like Facebook and Instagram in an effort to deter underage sales.
Amanda Kennedy with the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Health Department said she wishes they had taken these actions sooner.
She said, “One positive is that they’re not using their accounts to advocate for teens to use it, but it is too little too late. the damage has already been done.”
The way she sees it, the actions they have taken do not go far enough, and their effort to self-regulate just will not cut it – even if they only plan to have some flavors of the pods only available online.
The owner of a local vaping shop Foggy Memories Vapor says he does feel JUUL Labs distribution system needs to be changed. He feels their products are too easily available to teens.
But Kennedy feels the problem goes beyond just how JUUL distributes their products.
She feels there is no system that really accounts for what is actually in the pods like there are for other nicotine products.
She stated, “E-cigarettes are not regulated the same way that traditional cigarettes are. They’re not taxed the same way that traditional cigarettes are. because they’re so new we don’t know all of the health effects.”
Even if JUUL Labs' efforts makes it harder for teens to buy their products first hand in a convenience stores, the device is still floating around school hallways.
So, Kennedy stresses that it is important for parents to be educated on the product.
She added, “Just because it’s electronic doesn’t make it safe. Just because there’s no ingredients on the back of the package that doesn’t make it a safe product. That means that they really don’t know what all is going into that product.”