Juul’s next e-cigarette may come with age-proof lock

Juul Labs is reportedly developing a new e-cigarette with an age-proof lock to help convince the feds to let the company keep selling its products in the US.

The San Francisco-based vaping giant plans to present regulators with a new device that will initially be locked and cannot be unlocked until the user proves they are at least 21 years old, the legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Juul will submit its next-generation device to the US Food and Drug Administration as part of an application to keep its products in the American market amid a regulatory crackdown on vaping, the paper reported Monday.

Juul and other e-cigarette makers reportedly must show their products do more good than harm by helping adults quit smoking cigarettes even as a growing number of young people get hooked on vaping.

Juul has already rolled out lockable e-cigarettes in the UK and Canada, where users can lock or unlock the devices on a mobile app that can also track their nicotine consumption, according to the Journal. Users must submit a government ID and a photo when they first log onto the app, the paper reported.

Juul’s application to the FDA, due May 12, will be more than 250,000 pages long and include the e-cigarette it currently sells in the US, scientific studies, a new marketing campaign and documents detailing efforts to limit sales to minors, the Journal reported. The proposal for a new e-cigarette will reportedly be submitted in May or later this year in a supplemental application.

The company is getting help with the application from Altria, the Virginia tobacco giant that owns a 35 percent stake in Juul, according to the Journal. The Marlboro maker “is working day by day with us, side by side, helping us extensively,” a Juul official told the paper.

A Juul spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the plans for a locked e-cigarette.

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