Juul users are getting ready to say goodbye to their choice

After smoking a cigarette for about 25 years, Tim Marchman wanted to quit. And yet, he did not want to become what he calls a “wip boy,” a man who spends hours in specialty stores delivering nicotine to dozens of electronic devices, many of which are quite sophisticated. So he established what he considered to be the simplest option, Juul, a brand that had been practically synonymous with evaporation for some time.

“Juul is the default,” said Mr. Marchman, editor of the Motherboard technical and scientific site Vice Media in an interview. “It’s just a connection and a game.”

Unlike some other e-cigarette brands, Juul was also widely available. “At gas stations, they have it,” Mr. Marchman said.

That is likely to change.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul Labs to stop selling its devices in the United States, citing insufficient and conflicting data from the company about potentially harmful chemicals that could leak from Juul’s electronic fluids. On Friday, a federal court granted the company a temporary suspension, allowing it to keep e-cigarettes in stores pending legal review of an FDA order.

Like the other converts, Mr. Marchman says he has no plans to return tobacco if it turns out he can no longer accept his favorite brand of e-cigarettes. Still, he wonders how the FDA order could affect his habit.

“If I leave the country, should I bring my wipe juice?” Said Mr. Marchman, 43, who lives in Philadelphia. “Where can I buy? I hardly know where to get it in the movie. ”

The FDA order followed years of criticism of the potential harmful effects of Juul products on health and how it has targeted adults with a range of sweet flavors, including mango, creme brulee and mint, and youth-focused marketing campaigns.

The predecessor to Juul Labs was founded in 2007 by James Monses and Adam Bowen, a couple of entrepreneurs who came up with the idea of ​​a tobacco alternative while studying with Stanford University alumni. When Juuls was first sold in 2015, the brand gained popularity, thanks in part to a strong advertising campaign that showed young people smiling, laughing and stunning poses under the word “evaporated”.

By 2018, Juul had become so popular that the brand name became a verb, with teenagers sneakingly “joking” in high school classrooms and hallways. That same year, Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, agreed to pay $ 13 billion for a 35 per cent stake in Juul Labs.

Then came a series of complaints filed by state attorneys general accusing the company of encouraging nicotine addiction in adults through its advertising campaigns. In 2019 and 2021, Julie paid tens of millions of dollars to settle cases. The rise and fall of the company, from the success story of Silicon Valley to public health Paris, was captured in the 2021 documentary “Move Fast and Vape Things” by The New. York Times.

Although Juul lost his business after he stopped advertising after lawsuits, he remained one of the most visible and popular brands of e-cigarettes on the market. For Matthew Luther, 31, who lives in Detroit and repairs leather goods, information about a possible ban was alarming.

“I will definitely miss Julie,” said Mr Luther, 31. “I think they were aesthetically better. It is easy to put them in your pocket and refill them. “

Like others interviewed for this article, he said he appreciates the simple design of the Juul device, which looks like a flash drive. “The ban seems retrospective to me,” he said.

The FDA decision came just as Mr. Luther increased his use of Juul products. “I think it’s just life, stress and I was trying to quit smoking,” he said.

Juul’s competitors, including Puff Bar, have grown in recent years. But for many Juul remains synonymous with evaporation devices, as well as for Kleenex fabrics.

“When I think of e-cigarettes, I think of Julie,” said Jenny Matheson, who started using the brand in 2018. It was the only alternative to nicotine he found that allowed him to break the Marlboro habit he had acquired in high school. , He added.

Ms Matison, 54, who lives in Ranch Mirage, California and is a full-time caregiver for her disabled husband, said she would likely move to Vuse, a competing brand if the FDA passes.

For Mr. Marchman, Philadelphia Editor-in-Chief, the FDA order, if granted, could lead to the guy he had long feared to become – the Wip Boy.

“I’m going to finish some weird evaporator that I don’t fully understand,” Mr. Marchman said. “I will have to choose a device, test different juices. That will be the whole point. “

Sandra E. Garcia Contributed to the report.

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