- Juul’s CEO just sent an internal email banning his employees from Juuling inside all offices
- The new policy is in response to an inquiry from the city of San Francisco
- Employees at Juul will only be allowed to use their own product in a special outdoor tent
Juul’s Chief Executive Kevin Burns had an awkward task ahead of him on Tuesday: how to tell his employees that they are no longer allowed to use their own products in the office.
Employees at Juul HQ in San Francisco were previously allowed to freely use the pod-based e-cigarette while working inside the building. Unfortunately that pro-vaping policy was prohibited by a June 2016 law which made e-cigarette use in California workplaces illegal. After ignoring the law for over two years, Burns received an inquiry from the city about the indoor vaping practices at Juul headquarters.
“It may feel nonsensical to prohibit at-work use of the very products we work hard to create and promote,” Burns stated in an internal email to his staff. “But the bottom line is we need to comply with legal requirements the same as any company.”
He went on to tell his US-based employees that they are no longer allowed to use Juul products inside at work, starting immediately. As for the company’s San Fran headquarters, Burns had his staff install a tent outdoors which is now the only place where Juul employees are allowed to use their own product while on the job.
It must have been awkward AF to send that email though.
Juul has had a rough 2018
The company has been battling both the FDA and the media over the past few months over allegations that they are deliberately marketing their products to underage vapers. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb has referred to teen vaping as an “epidemic”. In response, the company began using only older models who are former smokers in their advertising campaigns. Previous Juul ads featured younger models, which critics point out could be appealing to potential underage vapers.
The company has begun taking aggressive action to gain control over their image. They recently shut down all of their US-based social media sites. They also canceled their affiliate program, which compensated reviewers for promoting Juul products. As the manufacturer of the most popular e-cigarette in the world, Juul Labs is hoping that this aggressive action will take some of the heat off of them and stop the FDA from taking enforcement action. Commissioner Gottlieb has previously threatened to ban all e-juice flavors and even completely ban the online sale of e-cigarettes throughout the country if retailers and manufacturers don’t take immediate action to stop underage consumers from buying their products.