Juul weighs opening stores in US: report

Juul weighs opening stores in US: report
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Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs is reportedly considering opening up its own line of storefronts in the United States.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that sources familiar with Juul's plans say the company has hired staff for locations still under consideration in Texas including Dallas and Houston

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The stores, if opened, would reportedly only admit adults and would not sell e-cigarettes in flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol in order to avoid the controversy around flavored tobacco products, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has argued is marketed toward teens.

A spokesperson for Juul did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on Thursday regarding the Journal's report.

The company has faced scrutiny by regulators for its success in the e-cigarette market, particularly among younger Americans, and was singled out in remarks by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb earlier this year for its popularity among middle and high school students.

"This progress is being undercut — even eclipsed — by the recent, dramatic rise in youth vaping," Gottlieb said earlier this year of the declining numbers of traditional smokers. "A few years ago, it would have been incredible to me that we’d be here, discussing the potential for drug therapy to help addicted youth vapers quit nicotine."

"I’ll tell you this. If the youth use continues to rise, and we see significant increases in use in 2019, on top of the dramatic rise in 2018, the entire category will face an existential threat," he said in January.

Juul no longer sells fruity or sweet flavors of nicotine products in its retail stores following a companywide decision last year, but continues to sell the products online.