The company is going to offer upwards of $100 million in incentives for retail stores to adopt the new system, which will block the purchase of a Juul until an appropriate age is confirmed. Customers will need to present a valid form of identification, which could include a driver’s license or another form of verified government-sanctioned identification.
Juul said that it had 40,000 stores agreeing to the system.
The issue of teen smoking is a contentious one, and Juul has often been in the center of the debate because of its sales of fruity flavors that ostensibly attract youths. The Food and Drug Administration called out famous retailers like Walmart recently over the sale of tobacco products to underage people.
Walmart responded by halting the sale of fruity flavors of electronic cigarettes, and retailer Rite Aid stopped selling e-cigarettes altogether.
Juul is the market leader in the space, and it sold upwards of 12 million devices and 390 million refill pods in the first half of August alone. The company works with around 125,000 stores in the U.S., and it’s in talks about potentially opening its own branded store.
The company stopped selling fruity flavors like mango and kiwi in retail stores, but it does sell them online. The company said it will stop working with stores that don’t adopt its new age verification system by 2021.
Chief Executive Kevin Burns said that the new system “basically takes the burden off the clerk.”
“It’s likely that this will cut down on illegal sales directly to minors,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “But that’s always only been a small part of the overall problem. If you make a product that is highly attractive to kids…then they will get it.”