Juul hopes Bluetooth age verification will curb underage vaping
Can technology prevent underage vaping?By Shawn Knight
Bottom line: Juul appears to be taking the matter of underage usage seriously. Sources say the company has also considered using Bluetooth to set up geofences around schools which would shut the devices down on campus.
Electronic cigarette company Juul Labs, by most accounts, would appear to be in a good position. The company has captured 71 percent of the US market and has a $15 billion valuation yet during lunch at its new San Francisco headquarters this past spring, Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould admitted her team had failed.
"We acknowledge kids are using the products," she said, adding that they're committed to stopping it.
In October, Juul will take a big step in doing just that by launching a Bluetooth-connected vape capable of regularly verifying a user's age. The software will also help ex-smokers track nicotine intake as they attempt to wean themselves off it.
The new units will first be introduced in Israel and Western Europe. How exactly they'll verify a user's age wasn't shared.
Juul has additionally committed to spend $30 million to prevent underage use. Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that Juul is also withholding 55 new flavors including strawberry Limoncello, Thai tea, mimosa and spicy watermelon from the market.
Juul is further planning to release pods later this year with lower doses of nicotine. At five percent, its liquids have almost double the concentration of nicotine as some of its rivals.