Juul Users Prepare to Say Goodbye to Their Vape of Choice

After nearly 25 years of smoking, Tim Marchman wanted to quit. Still, he didn’t want to be what he called the “ guy,” the kind of person who spends hours in specialty stores choosing from dozens of electronic nicotine delivery devices, most of them quite elaborate. So he settled on what struck him as the simplest option, , a brand that has been practically synonymous with vaping for a while.

“Juul is the default,” said Mr Marchman, editor at the Vice Media tech and science site. motherboard, he said in an interview. “Just plug and play.”

Unlike some other e-cigarette brands, Juul was also widely available. “It’s at gas stations in the middle of nowhere,” said Mr. Marchman.

This is likely to change.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration told Juul Labs stop selling your devices in the United States, citing scant and conflicting data from the company on potentially harmful chemicals that could leak from Juul’s e-liquid pods. On Friday, a federal court granted the company a temporary suspension, allowing it to keep its e-cigarettes in stores pending regulatory review of the FDA’s decision.

Like other converts, Mr Marchman says he has no plans to switch back to tobacco if it turns out he can no longer buy his preferred brand of e-cigarettes. Still, he wonders how the FDA order might affect his habit.

“Do I need to bring my vape juice with me if I go out of the country?” said Mr. Marchman, 43, who lives in Philadelphia. “Where to get it? I barely know where to get it in Philly.”

The FDA order followed years of criticism over the possible adverse health effects of Juul products and how they were delivered. addressed to young people with a variety of sweet flavors such as mango, crème brûlée and mint, and youth-oriented marketing campaigns.

The pioneer company of Juul Labs was started in 2007 by James Monsees and Adam Bowen, a pair of entrepreneurs who came up with the idea for a tobacco alternative while on a cigarette break during their time as graduate students at Stanford University. When Juuls was first sold in 2015, the brand’s popularity soared in part because of the strength of a brand. live ad campaign Photo of teenagers smiling, laughing and posing strikingly under the word “evaporated”.

By 2018 Juul had become so popular that the brand name became a verb, teens secretly “juuling” in high school classrooms and hallways. That same year, Philip Morris’ parent company, Altria, agreed to pay. 13 billion dollars For a 35 percent stake in Juul Labs.

then one came rain of lawsuits filed by state attorneys general, accusing the company of promoting nicotine addiction among youth through its advertising campaigns. Juul paid tens of millions of dollars to settle cases in 2019 and 2021. The rise and fall of the company from Silicon Valley success story to public health pariah in the 2021 documentary “Move Fast and Vape Things“By the New York Times.

Although Juul lost its business after restricting its advertising following lawsuits, it remained one of the most visible and popular e-cigarette brands on the market. For Matthew Luther, 31, who lives in Detroit and repairs leather goods, the news of the possible ban was upsetting.

“I will definitely miss the Juuls,” said Mr. Luther, 31. “I think they were better aesthetically. They can easily be thrown in your pocket and refilled.”

Like others interviewed for this article, he said he appreciated the simple design of the Juul device, similar to a flash drive. “The ban seems back to me,” he said.

The FDA decision came as Mr. Luther increased his use of Juul products. “I think it’s just life, stress and trying to quit smoking,” she said.

Rivals to Juul including puff stickhas grown in recent years. But for many, Juul remains as synonymous with vaping devices as Kleenex is for textures.

Jenny Mathison, who started using the brand in 2018, said, “When I think of e-cigarettes, I think of Juul.” It was the only nicotine alternative he had found to kick the Marlboro habit he had picked up in high school. , she added.

Ms. Mathison, 54, who lives in Rancho Mirage, California and is a full-time caregiver for her disabled husband, said she would switch to a rival brand, Vuse, if the FDA passed.

For Philadelphia editor Mr. Marchman, the FDA order, if approved, could cause him to morph into the type he’s long feared to be – a vape guy.

“I’m going to end up with a weird vape device that I don’t completely understand,” said Mr. Marchman. “I will have to choose a device, try different juices. It will be one whole.”

Sandra E. Garcia contributing reporting.

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