The popular e-cigarette brand JUUL is attracting an alarming number of teens online, researchers say. At least a quarter of JUUL's twitter followers may be under 18, they write in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
And many of these minors - to whom it is illegal to sell nicotine delivery products - are retweeting JUUL's Twitter messages, amplifying the company's reach to a teen audience, researchers reported.
"JUUL says it's not trying to target adolescents, but you can see that a good proportion of the company's Twitter audience are under 18," said Dr. Kar-Hai Chu, an assistant professor of medicine at the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "I think we should be very worried about this."
The new findings bolster anecdotal evidence that JUUL has become popular among teens. "The major reason we decided to do the study is there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of kids using JUUL and getting addicted" Chu said. "We wanted to systematically look at it."