Love Juul or hate it, you can probably appreciate why the e-cigarette company is frustrated.
It has grown like gangbusters since the first Juul vaporizer was introduced in 2015, leaving competitors — including traditional tobacco companies with their own e-cigarettes — gagging on its smoke.
Yet now, a meaningful percentage of that business is being threatened by FDA Commission Scott Gottlieb, who is so concerned about Juul’s soaring popularity with high school and middle school students that last week, he said he’s looking to have flavored e-cigs made available only in “age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification.”
Even limited to selling more of its menthol-, tobacco- and mint-flavored nicotine cartridges, one imagines that Juul — which also sells mango, cucumber, and fruit-flavored liquids — will be just fine as a business concern.
As cofounder and CTO Adam Bowen recently told this editor of the opportunity in front of his company: “We’re 75 percent of the e-cigarette market, which sounds like a lot, but we’re only 4 to 5 percent of the U.S. cigarette market .
.So we’re really just getting started here, and we’ve just scratched the surface outside of the U.S., where 95 percent of smokers live.”