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Juul addresses underage users with a new pilot program in Houston

Part of the plan includes geofenced ads for parents.

juul vape on turquoise background
Image: Juul

Ever wondered how Juul’s e-cigs end up in the hands of minors? You’re not alone, with everyone from Congress-critters to the FDA wondering the same question. Now, Juul Labs is trying to answer that question, with a pilot for its new Track & Trace program.

That program hinges on the serial number imprinted on every Juul device. The company has been upgrading its supply chain so that every single serial number can be tracked from production to distribution, right down to the pair of hands buying it from the store. If a concerned parent/teacher/etc finds a Juul device in their kids’ possession, “I was only holding it for X” won’t hold much water once the serial number of that device is put into the web portal Juul has set up.

That’s because once a serial is reported, Juul will backtrace the movement of that e-cig through the chain

Once the company knows where it was sold, it will take further steps to investigate, like talking to the store manager about the issue of underage sales, or possibly increasing its own secret shopper program to weed out irresponsible retailers if the data shows a particular store has a spike in Juul devices that end up in the hands of minors.

The pilot program is using the city of Houston for testing. I guess it’s all the news reports last year of Houston area teens “Juuling” it up at school. Yes, it’s so popular that it’s now a verb, just like Xeroxing. Juul plans to have internet banner ads informing parents, teachers and other older members of the area, which will be geofenced so those ads won’t be served anywhere near a school.

I’m not quite sure how that’s going to stop the smarter kids finding out about the pilot program or those who actually read the news, but what are ya going to do?

What do you think? Happy to see Juul taking these measures or is it overkill? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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