Bloomberg Businessweek

Juul’s Image Problem

The vape king is holding back dozens of flavors and prepping monitoring features as it tries to calm U.S. regulators

Few startups are as hot as Juul Labs Inc., the three-year-old e-cigarette maker with 71 percent of the U.S. market and a $15 billion valuation. But that’s not the story the company wants to tell. As its sneaker-clad workforce lined up this spring for a steak-and-quinoa lunch at its new San Francisco headquarters, Chief Administrative Officer Ashley Gould said her team had failed. “We acknowledge kids are using the products,” she said. “We’re committed to stopping it.”

Juul says its signature brushed-aluminum, thumb-drive-shaped vape is intended to help adult smokers switch to a healthier alternative, and there’s reason to believe it’s making some progress on that front. But it’s also become ubiquitous in America’s schools, prompting a backlash

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