Company will stop flavored Juul pod sales to all 90,000+ retail stores
By NACS Online // November 14, 2018
SAN FRANCISCO – As of November 13, Juul Labs has stopped accepting retail orders for its Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber JUUL pods to the more than 90,000 retail stores that sell its products, including traditional tobacco retailers (e.g., convenience stores) and specialty vape shops.
“We will now make Mango, Fruit, Creme, and Cucumber available only on Juul.com, where we are adding additional age-verification measures to an already industry-leading online sales system that is restricted to people 21 years old and utilizes third party verification,” says CEO Kevin Burns in an official plan of action posted on the company’s website.
The action plan comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prepares to announce this week a sweeping ban on the sales of certain e-cigarette products at convenience stores—an effort to crack down on the underage usage of vapor products that specifically targets the c-store industry.
The company states that only Juul pods that mirror what is currently available for combustible cigarettes—tobacco and menthol-based products (Menthol and Mint pods) —will be sold to retail stores, including convenience stores and specialty vape shops.
“To secure sales of these products, we are immediately increasing our secret shopper program, from 500 visits per month to roughly 2,000 per month, to verify that our standards are being followed by retailers. We will also impose financial consequences against retailers caught by FDA selling to minors or allowing bulk sales of our products. We will permanently cut off all sales to retail stores with multiple violations,” says Burns.
In addition to monitoring retail locations, Burns notes that the company will continue enforcement efforts against online marketplaces that sell Juul products in violation of their terms-of-service. “This year alone, Juul Labs has worked with online marketplaces, such as eBay, Alibaba, Amazon and DHgate, to remove more than 23,000 third-party listings of Juul products and/or counterfeits,” he says.
In late October Altria announced its plans to remove from the market MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen pod-based products “until we receive a market order from FDA or the youth issue is otherwise addressed.”
Stay tuned to NACS Daily for updates this week on the FDA’s forthcoming decisions.
For decades the convenience industry has been leaders in age verification and responsible retailing. NACS is in touch with both the FDA and Congress on this critical issue. NACS urges its members to contact their members of Congress and the FDA to explain the vital role of the convenience store industry as responsible retailers of legal products.
To contact your member of Congress, please click here.
To contact the Food & Drug Administration, please call 301-827-3101.