E-CIGARETTE manufacturer Juul Labs Inc is creating a new Bluetooth-linked vape which can detect if it’s being used by a minor.
The inbuilt system, to be launched in some Western European countries and Israel, will be able to detect a users age in a bid to stop teenagers from vaping their popular brand.
The Bluetooth tracker was originally designed to help former smokers watch their nicotine intake but CEO Kevin Burns has revealed it will now show how old its vaper is.
The move comes as Juul’s sleek e-cigarette, which looks like a USB, has been at the centre of media controversy this year with headlines and anti-vaping groups accusing it of getting a whole generation of teenagers and young people addicted to nicotine.
It has also been criticized by health and school officials who claim its not just it’s pocket-sized design which entices 15 to 24 year olds who make up the bulk of its demographic, but its range of fruit and candy flavors.
More than 2.1 million young people in America smoked e-cigarettes in 2017, the Food and Drug Administration reported, a market that Juul dominates with more than 70 per cent market share.
But Burns told Bloomberg News: “We’re not a lifestyle brand, we’re a functional product. We don’t want the product to seem cool.”
This age tracking system is the latest in a series of measures that the company is implementing to mitigate the backlash. Last June, the San Francisco-based company said that it would stop promoting its products online and would start advertising it as a stop smoking tool.
It also shelved plans to release 55 new flavors. More recently, Juul announced last month it will be selling lower-nicotine pods with a single Juul Pod containing around 5% nicotine and the new range, around 3%.
“We hope the availability of different nicotine strengths will continue to allow adult smokers the ability to explore what is best for them,” said company CEO Kevin Burns at the time.
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