Juul to get a regulatory welcome

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Juul to get a regulatory welcome

Minister of Food and Drug Safety Ryu Young-jin said he will take measures to regulate San Francisco-based Juul Labs’ Juul electronic cigarettes ahead of their upcoming launch in Korea due primarily to fears that local teenagers could be exposed to the popular brand.

“We must prepare ourselves for domestic sales of Juul e-cigarettes, which are popular among American teenagers,” Ryu said during a press briefing in Osong, North Chungcheong, on Monday.

While Juul markets its products as a healthier, low-cost smoking alternative targeting younger customers, many have highlighted the dangers of the brand’s popularity, blaming it for fueling a nicotine epidemic among American teens. Some 3.6 million American teenagers are estimated to have used e-cigarettes last year, according to U.S. health authorities.

“We are working together with the Ministry of Health and Welfare to review revising relevant laws ahead of future sales here,” Ryu said.

He raised the possibility that Juul’s products may not be categorized as regular cigarettes under current legislation, but assured that he will work with related bodies to find ways to regulate them before Juul officially launches in Korea.

Juul Labs, the company behind the hit brand, is expected to soon begin operations in Korea. The company has reportedly established a subsidiary in Korea last month and applied for relevant trademark rights.

Juul is a popular brand of e-cigarettes responsible for 70 percent of the multimillion dollar e-cigarette market in the United States. With attractive flavors like tropical mango and cucumber, Juul has been especially popular with teenagers.

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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