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Underage Use Prevention

JUUL Labs continues to build on national program to reduce underage use and reset the vapor category

JUUL Labs recognizes the need to reset the vapor category and earn the trust of society and stakeholders as we combat underage use and transition adult smokers from cigarettes. We have voluntarily implemented actions to restrict underage access and reduce underage appeal.

We have no higher priority than preventing underage use of our products. In the fall of 2019, in response to the troubling rise of underage use, we took a series of wide-ranging actions, including suspending the distribution of non-tobacco and non-menthol flavored JUULpods and suspending all product advertising through broadcast, print, and digital channels.

Our ongoing actions to combat underage use

These new steps are part of our ongoing effort to address this issue. In August of 2017, we banned online sales to anyone under the age of 21. In April of 2018, we announced our support for Tobacco 21 laws. In November of 2018, we announced a plan to address youth access, appeal, and use of JUUL products. We stopped selling non-tobacco and non-menthol based flavored JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners. We enhanced our online age-verification process, strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 mystery shop visits per month, and shut down our U.S. based Facebook and Instagram accounts, while working constantly to remove inappropriate social media content generated by others on those platforms. We expanded our Track + Trace program nationally for JUUL Devices, which aims to trace confiscated JUUL Devices through the distribution chain and identify the retail location where the product may have been sold. Additionally, in August 2019 we introduced a set of technologically-based standards for retail stores that block the sale of any JUUL product until a valid, of-age government-issued I.D. is electronically scanned and validated, and limit the amount of product that can be purchased.

Timeline

August 2017

  • Banned online sales to anyone under the age of 21, even if they resided in a jurisdiction where the legal age of purchase was 18.

April 2018

  • Announced our support of Tobacco 21 legislation, which raises the minimum purchasing age for tobacco products, including vapor products like JUUL, to 21.
  • Worked with social media platforms to delete inappropriate posts and listings featuring our products that were published by unaffiliated third-parties.

November 2018

Announced a far-reaching, voluntary plan to address underage access, appeal, and use of JUUL products. The plan had five elements:

Tobacco 21

Stepped up our advocacy for Tobacco 21 legislation. In 2019, nearly a dozen states passed such laws, and federal legislation was enacted in Congress to raise the minimum purchase age to 21 throughout the country.

Restricting non-tobacco non-menthol-based flavors at traditional retail

Stopped selling non-tobacco and non-menthol-based flavored JUULpods to all of our traditional retail store partners.

Online age verification

Enhanced our industry-leading, third-party age-verification process online that limits sales to adults 21+ regardless of jurisdiction, and added more stringent online bulk-purchasing restrictions.

Retail controls

Expanded our retailer compliance program from 500 to over 2,000 mystery shop visits per month. Since March of 2019, we have issued almost 500 violations to the FDA to be investigated for further action.

Social media

Shut down our U.S.-based Facebook and Instagram accounts and are constantly working to remove inappropriate social media content generated by third-parties.

August 2019

Retail access control standards

To combat underage use of JUUL products, we are working with retailers across the U.S. to implement JUUL Labs’ Retail Access Control Standards (RACS) program. Under the program, every retail point-of-sale system immediately locks when a JUUL product is scanned until a retailer electronically scans a valid, of-age government-issued I.D. to verify age and I.D. validity. Additionally, RACS imposes automatic limits on the amount of product a legal-age customer can purchase. Through this technology, RACS directly combats two large drivers of underage access to JUUL products at retail:

  1. Failure to check and verify I.D.

  2. Legal-age individuals buying bulk quantities of products to resell to
    minors.

Retail chains representing over 40,000 store locations, have already committed to becoming RACS-compliant. Many of these stores are currently in the process of implementing RACS. Retailer compliance with RACS will be certified by a third-party auditor during an in-person visit.

Track + Trace

We announced the national rollout in the U.S. of our Track + Trace program, which aims to trace confiscated JUUL Devices through the distribution chain in order to identify the retail location where the product may have been sold. As of today, all JUUL Devices in the U.S. market are fully traceable. Our dedicated team will monitor these submissions and track confiscated products. Once identified, we will work with the retailer and take appropriate action.

Anyone who has confiscated a JUUL Device from a minor may access the Track + Trace portal to provide the serial number so that our team can take the appropriate corrective actions. Together, we will strive to keep JUUL products out of the hands of minors.

Visit the Track + Trace Portal.

Mystery shopper program enhancement

On October 1, 2019, JUUL Labs implemented a new “3-Strikes” enforcement policy, further enhancing our robust mystery shopper program. The enforcement policy is designed to administer significant consequences for non-compliant retailers that fail multiple age-verification compliance mystery shop inspections. Retailers that fail multiple Age-Verification compliance mystery shop inspections are subject to a loss of promotional funding and/or a one-year ban on ordering and selling JUUL products.

  • First Inspection Failure: JUUL Labs will issue a letter notifying the retailer of its first violation. The letter will reiterate our youth prevention policies, 3-strike penalty escalation structure, and provide links to additional regulatory and policy training.
  • Second Inspection Failure: If there is a second violation within one year of the first violation, JUUL Labs will issue a letter notifying the retailer of its second violation. The retailer will lose the opportunity to participate in two JUUL promotional cycles following the date of the second failed inspection. JUUL Labs will communicate the JUUL Labs-sponsored second age-verification inspection failure to the FDA.
  • Third Inspection Failure: If there is a third violation within one year of the first violation, JUUL Labs will issue a letter notifying the retailer of its third violation. The retailer will lose the opportunity to order and sell JUUL products for one year from the date of the third failed inspection. JUUL Labs will notify wholesalers, distributors, and sub-distributors of the enforcement action. JUUL Labs will communicate the JUUL Labs-sponsored age-verification failure to the FDA.

Fall 2019

Suspending product advertising thorugh broadcast, print, and digital channels.

JUUL Labs has suspended all product advertising through broadcast, print, and digital channels.

Restricting flavors

Since November 2018, JUUL Labs began restricting the availability of non-traditional flavored JUUL products at retail and through its owned e-commerce platform in the United States. Since November 2019, we have offered only tobacco and menthol flavored products in the United States – those that mirror what is available for cigarettes. JUUL Labs will not re-introduce any other flavored products prior to FDA review. JUUL Labs believes the FDA’s PMTA process and its “appropriate for the protection of the public health” standard are the best ways to assess the role these products can play in helping adult smokers move away from cigarettes while also being kept out of the hands of youth.

We fully believe in the need to reset the vapor category and to earn trust by working cooperatively with regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from cigarettes.