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August 05, 2019

New Juul vape prevents teen use with facial recognition, age verification

The company may also eventually prevent use of vapes in public areas, schools

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juul apology Lee Phillips/

Juul CEO Kevin Burns announced he is resigning on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. On Tuesday, a Kansas man became the ninth person to die from the vaping-related lung disease that has sickened 530 people in 38 states.

In an effort to combat the teen vaping epidemic, Juul has announced the launch of the Juul C1, which features facial recognition and a strict age verification process. 

Juul, one of the largest producers of e-cigarettes, has come under fire in the past year for playing a sizable role in the teen vaping epidemic. Critics have charged that the company's flashy marketing and accessibility has lured many a teen into a nicotine addiction and, in some cases, ended them up in the hospital.

The age verification process involves multiple steps before users can access the device and app, including third-party verification and photo evidence that the user matches the ID. The new device also features bluetooth connectivity to monitor the user’s vaping habits and also tracks the device itself. The C1 is now available in the United Kingdom, following a successful trial in Canada, according to the Financial Times.

RELATED READ: Juul allegedly marketed e-cigarettes to children during school programs

Connected to an app on the user’s phone, the Juul C1 tracks how many puffs are taken daily and features an auto-lock option that can prevent others from using the vape when it is out of the connected phone’s range, per the Financial Times. There’s also a “find-my-vape” function within the app.

According to Men’s Health, Juul explains that this new device and connected app was not created for them to collect data, rather for the user to track their own vaping data and habits. There is no plan for the company to sell user data to third party companies — which could raise a huge health privacy issue.

In the company's continued effort to limit their impact on the teen vaping epidemic and assuage increasing regulations, Juul plans to eventually enact “geofencing” feature that would prevent vaping in public areas and schools, Men’s Health reports.

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