Even in the slow summer months in a college town, Aj’s Liquor in Ames, Iowa, sells roughly 160 Juul pods a week to customers between the ages of 21 to 24.
But convenience store shelves could be stripped of Juul products, depending on a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the products’ safety, according to a story in the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
Will Montgomery, sales representative for Aj’s Liquor, said customers are already transitioning to alternative brands for nicotine products as the FDA considers a marketing denial order against Juul. Even if the ban is successful, Montgomery said he doesn’t expect electronic nicotine delivery systems to decrease in sales.
“People are still going to need nicotine,” Montgomery said.
Taylor Boland, director of communications for Kum & Go, said all Kum & Go stores ceased sales of all Juul products on June 23 but resumed sales following the federal court’s block.
“Kum & Go remains committed to selling age-restricted products responsibly and complying with local, state and federal laws, orders, and mandates,” Boland said in an email response to Iowa Capital Dispatch.
Montgomery said the majority of customers who buy Juuls aren’t using them to stop smoking. If they were, they’d buy lower-nicotine products, he said.
Payton Hartz started vaping because of how convenient the products were. After Juul limited their flavors, Hartz transitioned to an alternative disposable vape brand.
The potential ban has “opened the door for other companies to push to the front,” Hartz said. “I feel like the throw-away vapes hadn’t existed until the Juul really came around. I feel like with the laws, all it has really done is push more companies to be even with Juul.”