Embattled vaping company Juul filed a request with the Food and Drug Administration this week for a new electronic cigarette with age verification capabilities.
The company filed a Premarket Tobacco Product Application with the FDA for a “next-generation vapor platform” on Wednesday that would use an app for age verification, according to a release from the company. The new device would also prevent counterfeit vapor pods from being used with a “unique Pod ID chip.”
“With our next-generation platform, we have designed a technological solution for two public-health problems: improving adult-smoker switching from combustible cigarettes and restricting underage access to vapor products,” said Juul Chief Product Officer Kirk Phelps.
Juul already launched the product, called Juul2, in the U.K. in 2021. Company-sponsored research showed that 32% of users switched completely from smoking cigarettes after six months of using the new system.
Attorneys general across the U.S. have said that Juul inappropriately marketed its products as smoking cessation devices, which served as a pathway for cigarette use by children. The e-cigarette company once dominated the industry with flavored nicotine pods.
Since 2019, Juul has paid nearly $1 billion in settlements across the country related to the company’s youth marketing activities. The company paid $462 million after settling youth vaping lawsuits in New York, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Colorado and the District for $462 million.
The settlements from earlier this year also required that Juul not market its vaping products directly or indirectly to people under the age of 35, and to limit the online and in-store purchases of its customers.
Juul’s push for a new product comes as new CDC data found that about 11% of young adults between 18 and 24 years old use e-cigarettes.