Juul Will Stop Selling Most E-Cigarettes Flavors…and Halt Social Media

Dear Students:

What do you think of this NYTimes article about Juul? Great timing since we just discussed this in class the other week!

We’ve covered marketing ethics and are now reading about digital marketing. Do you think Juul deliberately marketed to teens? What do you think of Juul’s claims that it will close its Facebook and Instagram sites?

Post your thoughts by November 19th and respond to at least one classmate.

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About Denise H. Sutton, PhD

Denise H. Sutton, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business at City Tech-CUNY. She is the author of Globalizing Ideal Beauty: Women, Advertising, and the Power of Marketing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 2012). An expert on advertising beauty, Sutton has lectured widely on the subject at universities and at corporations such as Unilever and Firmenich. She developed and taught courses on advertising and gender at the New School University, New York City, and lectures at the Fashion Institute of Technology—SUNY.

20 thoughts on “Juul Will Stop Selling Most E-Cigarettes Flavors…and Halt Social Media

  1. KevKev

    I honestly think that it’s too late for Juul to back off from what they are currently in. Majority of the people already know what Juul is because it’s very popular. Juul only wanted to help smokers to quit smoking but they did not know that it would target teenagers. Although they solved a problem by helping smokers quit smoking, another problem arises, which is teenagers getting their hands on them. I would say that it’s far too late to back themselves down after realizing that 3 million teenagers are using their product. Even banning most flavors and having a much restricted policy for purchasing Juul won’t even help anymore because they’ll find a way around it. Example: person A uses Juul, person B doesn’t. Person A will tell person B to buy it for them and then person A can distribute them. And this can keep on going for person C and so on. It’s too late because the damage has already been done just like how it states in the New York Times article stated by Maura Healey “Maura Healey, the attorney general for Massachusetts, echoed that sentiment. ‘Unfortunately, much of the damage has already been done,’ she said.”
    I don’t think Juul claiming that it will close down its Facebook and Instagram will help much since everyone knows the brand due to its popularity but it might slow down their advertising but at the same time the teenagers are basically already advertising for them as stated in the article.

    1. Xiao

      Totally agree, Juul already has a group that will buy from them for sure and is a huge group. Anything they do will not really affect much to the sales. Too many people are using Juul and it will encourage others in real life. Social media already help Juul promote a very large group of teenagers that closing up the social media is too late.

  2. divine1

    Banning the sale of e-cigarettes is a logical decision because it does encourage youths to begin smoking because they feel that “vaping” doesn’t present any harmful effects to the body. This article does an emaculate job of presenting to the reader the epidemic that is e-cigarettes being common amongst adolescents today and sets out to end it with this ban.

  3. Jhaun McKenzie

    This article about Juul further explained a lot of the things I’ve been seeing on social media and in real life, but the suspension of their products seems like a way for them to cover themselves. Most people understand that using social media ads and influencers to market their product was going to reach a younger demographic, since members of younger generations are more active on social media. If the F.D.A. didn’t come down on Juul, I doubt they would have suspended some of their products. They didn’t seem to have a problem with marketing their products to under aged customers when they were on their way to becoming a billion dollar company. When talking about the idea of Juul shutting down their social media profiles, it’s pretty much a lost cause at this point. I still believe they need to do it, but it would have been more significant if they did it years ago when the teen’s interest in the product was peaking.

    1. TiffanieChen

      I agree with the fact that if it wasn’t for the FDA stepping up, JUUL would’ve continued to sell their popular products, disregarding the fact that a large part of their consumers are teenagers who aren’t even at the age of 21. At the end of the day, I feel like they just wanted to make as much money as they can.

      1. Jane

        I also agree with Jhaun, Ismail and Tiffanie that if FDA didn’t take any actions it would still not change anything, as I mentioned in my comment they knew that soon the regulators were closing in on them so they moved quickly to the end the sales to the minors and turning down their advertisements on social media.

    2. AgnesCsepany

      I completely agree with you. It’s too late for the kids who already use them, though maybe taking down their social media could prevent new generation of kids getting addicted to them. But they only responded this way because the FDA started taking some action. I doubt anything would have changed otherwise.

  4. TiffanieChen

    It is great that JUUL recognized the issue of the increase in teenagers vaping. However, like the article stated, the damage has already been done. It has increased the amount of teenagers becoming addicted to nicotine. Suspending the sales of the more popular and teen inviting flavors will help, but there are those who have bought those flavors in bulk and will continue to sell to teens who crave them. Also, but ending their social media accounts would be helpful as well because of how heavily social media affects teenagers. In my opinion, JUUL should have stopped the sales of those flavors earlier because their devices have reach kids at the age of 13-15. It is sad to see how something as simple as a trend to “look cool” has begun to negatively impact a young child’s health long term. One pod of a JUUL is equivalent to one whole pack of cigarettes, not as great as an alternative to cigarettes as it seems, especially with flavors like mango.

  5. Alex

    i don’t think Juul targeted teenagers, it just somehow happened. Their purpose was to help smokers stop smoking, and since teenagers now a days make anything look cool, they made Juul look cool through social media. When one does it another follows and they continued to do it because of the choices of flavors they could choose from. I feel like that made it for everyone, if one kid didn’t like a certain flavor they could choose another, and sooner or later they would get addicted to it. With Juul closing their facebook and instagram, i think it would kinda help, it would help stop new teenagers from trying it or knowing about because its not on social media anymore. Then again its to late for some kids, some are already addicted to it, like they said, the damage is done. It won’t matter if they stop selling to retail shops, and force them to show I.D. to prove their older than 21, the teenagers that know about it and really want it will find another to get their product.

  6. Xiao

    Juul made to help smokers to rid of the real cigarette not to make it popular for the teenager to use. But kids these days have too many ways to get stuff they shouldn’t get. I don’t think sell less favorite will really affect the sales of E-cigarette since there is ode brand outside and Juul already has a stable customer will keep buying from them. In the news article already point out that there are about 3 million students using E-cigarette now and plus the number of adult users, Juul is too popular now that no one can do anything. Stoping promoting on social media cannot solve any issue because of how popular it is and people can always see people near them using it.

    1. KevKev

      I agree that it’s nearly impossible to stop it sales as of now. By not promoting the product might slow down sales by a bit but I doubt it since it’s a trending product.

  7. Christina

    After reading this article, what I think about this article is I believe that Juul target market was not teenagers, it was basically targeting everybody that smokes but trying for another alternative. There are accurately 3 million students using E-cigarette now and plus adult users, Juul is too popular now that it is impossible to stop making the product.. Stopping promoting on social media cannot solve any issue because of how popular it is and people can always see people around them using it. This article about Juul further explained a lot of the things I’ve been seeing on social media and in real life, but the suspension of their products seems like a way for them to cover themselves from the F.D. A

    1. staceycoissy

      I Agree with this statement even if they do delete their social media, the product is already so popular buyers can just advertise it themselves without even realizing.

  8. staceycoissy

    I think this article further explain and prove what we’re discussing in class last Monday. The fact that juul was made to help smoker stop smoking was really smart idea, but now it’s a new addiction that a lot of teen suffer from. That’s outrageous. I don’t think Juul deliberately marketed to teens because juul help people stop smoking, the legal age to buy cigarettes is 21 years old. I think kids are attracted to Juul so much because you can buy the vape at any age, it’s not hard to get your hand like other tobacco products. I don’t think Juul’s will close its Instagram or Facebook site because social media is big part of their success. They are already losing money they can’t afford to lose anymore.

  9. ismail

    In my opinion I think juul is too late for forgiveness. Not selling others flavors is not going to stop teens from doing it. It’s up to teens for themselves to stop. People in convenient stores should be more ethical and sell to people of age. Juul stopping social media is not going to stop teens from vaping. It’s not going to get new customers but it will not stop old ones.

  10. AgnesCsepany

    In my opinion, Juul knew exactly what they were doing. It also knew that teenagers were buying and using their product since they began selling them in 2015 since a.) as a company breaking into the vape market at the time must have conducted market research, especially after releasing all their Juul pods, and b.) why else would they start marketing with social media influencers, but because they were trying to cater/capture the audience that uses social media the most. Juul found a way to greatly increase profit by marketing to a whole new target market and also to utilize the lack of regulation by the FDA. On that note, the FDA is/was really slow in catching up to the dangers vapes present and even slower in regulating its buying and using. It’s been 3 years since Juul premiered their product and I doubt that taking down their social media presence in the US will change anything. As the article said “Juuling” has already become a verb.

  11. Jane

    According to the article I believe company did take full advantage of youth market by using those flavors. And with instagram account in particular, more than Facebook. Maybe at the beginning they did not consider young generation as their customers. But once the item caught on among teens and young adults, it created huge profit for the company. They knew it did and kept selling and marketing it, to make money, not caring so much for the health issues of young teen smokers. This concept called “Placing profits over people” as big pharmaceutical companies and other big corporations do all the time. Money becomes the end all purpose, disregarding the impact on people and their health.
    From my personal experience, I have a friend who has 16 year old son, so once after giving a ride to his son’s girlfriend he found a strange device in car, which he said looked like flash drive or tracking device (second option made me laugh) and only later he saw it on the news and found out what was it. He said she was smoking weed oil with it somehow. And while discussing it with him he mentioned that some Parents were buying them for their kids, so stopping advertising it through social media and taking out flavors wont solve the problem. As it mentioned in article most damage was done and I believe it is too late.

  12. Tasniakayy

    In my opinion, I think stopping advertisements for Juuls is not going to solve any problems because most of their buyers are teens. It may stop new buyers, but it definitely won’t stop the old ones. Even though their intentions were never to target teens, instead it was to aim for everybody that smokes, but are trying to find another replacement for actual cigarettes. The product is so popular that even without the advertisement, it will make a great profit.

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