Selling Addiction –
Nov. 24, 2019 – From the beginning, there was plenty of evidence of teenage use on social media that should have been apparent to a company that had made social media the core of its marketing strategy. A sampling of tweets from Juul’s first 18 months of sales showed that juuling had quickly become a fad among high school students, long before the company acknowledged that there was a problem.
“petition to make our school mascot a juul,” said one tweet in December 2015.
“horizon highschool, where every1 is juuling in the bathroom,” said another in January 2016.
“HAPPY 16th BIRTHDAY, LEXI T!!! I hope ur day is filled with juuling & just having the best day ever!” said a tweet in October 2016.
There was also evidence from employees’ own lives. In 2016, some salespeople inside Juul passed around a photo taken by a colleague’s teenage son of a picture of a Juul drawn on a bathroom stall at his high school with the word “Juul” scrawled beside it. Juul declined to make Mr. Monsees — who stayed at the company after being removed from the C.E.O. job — or any other executives available for this article.