Juul founder James Monsees (left) and moderator Jordan Crook at TechCrunch Disrupt. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Juul, the e-cigarette company, accepts that it has a "high burden" to prove its good intentions about keeping its products away from minors, company co-founder James Monsees said Wednesday at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference.

Why it matters: Juul has been under fire for using marketing that appeals to a younger audience, including its ad campaigns and candy-like names for its tobacco flavors. In response, the company has announced several efforts, including support for a push to make the smoking age 21 in all states.

"I think the burden is really high on us, and it should be."
— James Monsees
  • Another part of Juul's plan to help keep its products away from underage consumers is its forthcoming Bluetooth-connected e-cigarette, said Monsees, though the product won't be available in the U.S. for now because of regulations.
  • According to Monsees, the connected devices can enforce age requirements to activate them via smartphone — "basically, it’s two-factor authentication for Juul use," he said.

Yes, but: "We’re certainly on that spectrum," said Monsees, in a reference to FDA chief Scott Gottlieb's view of various nicotine products with different health risks. "If you don’t feel like you need nicotine or need to be smoking, don’t be on a spectrum of risk.”

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections rose over the past week in half the country.

Why it matters: The U.S. remains largely unable or unwilling to control the spread of the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

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