Two locations in New Jersey were warned for selling the popular e-cigarette brand to minors
Two New Jersey vape shops were warned about selling e-cigarettes — specifically the popular Juul brand — to minors as part of a nationwide crackdown by the federal government to stop sales to children and teens.
The FDA said that since early March it has uncovered 40 violations throughout the country of illegal sales of Juul products to children and teens.
Out of those 40, two locations were included in New Jersey: Top Line Vapor in Somerdale and Mode E Cigarettes in Blackwood.
The FDA said that it is continuing to conduct a nationwide, undercover “blitz” on retailers throughout the U.S. that will continue until the end of the month.
“We’ll hold retailers accountable for continued violations,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the statement. “Let me be clear to retailers. This blitz, and resulting actions, should serve as notice that we will not tolerate the sale of any tobacco products to youth.”
Increasingly popular among teens, e-cigarettes — specifically Juul products — have become rampant on high schools grounds throughout the country.
No one could be reached at Mode E Cigarettes.
Justin Ratti, owner of Top Line Vapor, said he was disappointed that an employee sold to a minor. However, he said he took action immediately to prevent any further underage sales.
“With employees, we stress enough about how it’s mandatory they have to card,” Ratti said. ” … We did make changes to our system; in order to run a transaction, we have to scan an ID now. And, hopefully, nothing like that will ever happen again.”
Adding to the difficulty, Juul e-cigarette products are harder for parents and school officials to detect as they resemble a USB flash drive while brandishing a sleek design that many teens may find appealing.
“These characteristics may facilitate youth use, by making the products more attractive to children and teens,” Gottlieb said.
The FDA said eBay has also agreed to remove listings for several Juul products on its website after it raised concerns with the online company.
The FDA also sent an official request for information to Juul Labs, “requiring the company to submit important documents to better understand the reportedly high rates of youth use and the particular youth appeal of these products.”
“We’re also exploring clear and meaningful measures to make tobacco products less toxic, appealing and addictive with an intense focus on youth,” Gottlieb said.
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