The Atlantic

‘Juul’s a Business, and They’re Behaving Like a Business’

The e-cigarette giant is on an atonement tour. But who is it really for?
Source: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Juul Labs’ Instagram account was once a repository of images of attractive young adults hanging out in sunny locales while puffing away at the brand’s popular vapes. Now it’s more like a digital grave. Everything is buried, save for one post, a lone marker explaining the void.

Earlier this month, the e-cigarette giant pulled a highly publicized corporate-responsibility move on social media, deleting nearly everything from its popular Instagram account and scaling back its use of other platforms, all in the name of atonement. The sin? Helping to introduce millions of American teens to nicotine, with a big boost from social-media marketing that has made its devices trendy accessories for high schoolers.

On the surface, Juul has assembled a sequence of top-flight public-relations responses to enormous public outrage, which began earlier this year. In the past few months, the three-year-old company, which has , has released a for high schools, from stores, halted or curtailed its activity on social media and YouTube, and developed a to its current pods that will be sold overseas.

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