Juul Labs, the company that makes the popular vaporizer, has announced a new program to track its devices and figure out how they get into the hands of minors, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The program is called Track & Trace, and involves the serial numbers on the bottom of the devices used for vaping a nicotine product. Recently, the company gained the ability to track the serial numbers from the making of the Juul all the way to where it was sold.
Juul Labs is asking parents, teachers and law enforcement officials to visit a page on its website and input the serial number of a confiscated device.
“As part of our efforts to prevent youth use through technological solutions, we are developing a unique product tracking system to better understand how these products are getting into the hands of minors,” the company said. “Ultimately, our aim is to use this information to trace a device confiscated from a minor back through the distribution channel, potentially identifying the specific retail store that sold the product. With that information, we can take appropriate action.”
When a serial number is entered, the company said, it will start an investigation. Once it tracks down where the device came from, be it a store or from someone over the age of 21, the company may go talk to the manager. The company could also send a secret shopper to a store where it sees a spike in sales.
Right now, the program is limited to Houston, but anyone can input a serial number and start an investigation on a confiscated device.
“It’s important to note that the pilot is an opportunity for us to learn how the technology is working and optimize the technology,” Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould said. “It’s not just at the retailer level. It’s a whole process through the supply chain to track that device and find out if everyone who is supposed to be scanning it is scanning it, and the software that we’ve created to track that serial number through the supply chain to the retail store is working. The only way we’re going to know that is when someone puts in the serial number and we see if we have all the data we need to track it.”