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July 9, 2018

JUUL and kids: Your ideas are needed

Advisory Group seeks comments from public

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and the Advisory Group ask you to suggest ideas on how JUUL Labs can limit access to their e-cigarettes by minors.

In June, Miller convened a group of 14 officials, including former attorneys general and public health experts, to examine how JUUL can avoid the unintended consequences of attracting youth and non-smokers to e-cigarettes. The advisory group will meet several times this summer and create a set of recommendations for JUUL.

JUUL’s basic business plan is to sell to adult smokers and switch them completely to its product. JUUL has never wanted kids to use their product.

JUUL has taken several actions to address youth use, including:

  • Requiring that people be 21 or older to purchase products on its own website. The ecommerce platform uses a three-way verification process to ensure minors are not able to purchase online;
  • Supporting state and federal initiatives to raise the minimum purchase age for tobacco products to 21;
  • Enforcing appropriate age verification at retail locations through its “secret shopper” program;
  • Calling on online marketplaces to remove content that violates JUUL resale agreements by offering JUUL products for sale without age verification;
  • Announcing a new social media policy, including eliminating all models on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and instead featuring testimonials from former smokers (The company does not have a Snapchat account.);
  • Successfully requesting that social media platforms remove content showing or encouraging youth use of JUUL;
  • Investing in research and development to evaluate potential technologies to help prevent youth from gaining access to, and/or using JUUL;
  • Investing $30 million over the next three years for independent research, youth and parent education and community engagement efforts.

We ask you to provide any ideas on suggestions that you think JUUL should undertake in addition to what they are now doing to keep JUUL from kids. Please email your ideas before July 31 to lynn.hicks@ag.iowa.gov or by regular mail.

 

Thomas J. Miller

Attorney General of Iowa

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