Juul is allegedly working to create a new pod that would contain less nicotine but deliver more vapor in order to work around growing criticism and regulation of its popular e-cigarettes, The New York Times reports.
Over the course of the last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has waged war on Juul labs and the e-cigs it says have fueled a ‘teen vaping epidemic.’
Its original pods of e-liquid came in flavors like mango and delivered about as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
Earlier this month, Juul had to pull its sweet flavors from the shelves and change its marketing practices in order to meet the FDA’s demands.
But now it seems to be attempting to engineer its way around restrictions in the US and European Union where it hopes to sell its products.
Juul is developing an e-liquid pod that contains less nicotine but delivers it in more vapor, someone close to the project told the New York Times
Juul’s sleek, USB-like design made it both appealing and easy to hide for teenagers.
Between high school and middle school students, young adults and those trying to quit smoking, Juul quickly took over 70 percent of the burgeoning e-cig market.
Its success and poppy ads caught the attention and scrutiny of the FDA.
Regulators found retailers were rampantly selling to underage customers and sent stern warning letters to many stores as well as to Juul.
In response, Juul has adjusted its marketing scheme (its ads no longer features models who look for all intents and purposes like teenagers, and its social media accounts have been turned demure), discontinued flavors like mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavors.
It has also begun offering pods that are three percent nicotine – about half the content of the original pods.
But that puts the content per pod around 23 milliliters – still above the EU’s legal limits.
Though nicotine itself is not a significant carcinogen, it is highly addictive.
For that reason, the FDA, public health experts and officials have all agreed that keeping nicotine contents as low as possible is in the best interests of consumers – particularly young ones.
The New York Times reported that ‘people knowledgeable about the development of the higher-vapor pod’ claim that one of the company’s goals in the new pod is to produce a bigger cloud of smoke.
But making a slightly larger more vapor-heavy pod could change the nicotine concentration such that it would test lower but might actually hit a human just as hard as the company’s traditional three and six percent pods.