As Juul became one of the most popular e-cigarette brands over the past few years, the FDA placed sales restrictions on the flavored nicotine products from the company last September. There has been a rising concern among parents that the ease of access to Juuls, which are discreet and relatively cheap compared to other vaping devices, that more and more youth will become addicted. In a new comment from Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns, an apology has been directly addressed to parents.
"I'd tell [parents] I'm sorry their child's using the product," Burns said in a CNBC documentary entitled Vaporized: America's E-cigarette Addiction. "It's not intended for them. I hope there was nothing that we did that made it appealing to [children]. As a parent of a 16-year-old, I'm sorry for them, and I have empathy for them, in terms of what the challenges they're going through."
The FDA labeled the use of Juuls by teenagers "an epidemic" in 2018, and has indicated that more restrictions are on the way. Burns did add that Juul has had a "significant impact" on the decrease in tobacco use across the States, but many anti-smoking advocates believe the high volume of nicotine will still lead young vapers to tobacco. In an attempt to decrease teenage Juul users, the company shut down its social media accounts.
Another big criticism of Juul was that their advertising specifically targeted young people, with models in their 20s being used to showcase the products. "In enabling a path for e-cigarettes to offer a potentially lower risk alternative for adult smokers, we won’t allow the current trends in youth access and use to continue, even if it means putting limits in place that reduce adult uptake of these products," the FDA said in a statement last year.