Juul E-Cigs to Receive Bluetooth Upgrades

Improvements will help discourage unauthorized use, become part of premarket FDA application
Photograph: Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO — Electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs will include Bluetooth technology in its products that could lock down devices to deter unauthorized use, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

With the C1 version of the Juul e-cigarette, users could manually lock down the device or the device could automatically shut off when not in use or not within proximity of a designated smartphone, the newspaper reported. Built-in GPS technology could also help users locate misplaced devices, the report said.

San Francisco-based Juul Labs has been testing the device in Canada and the United Kingdom since August, the report said, and the upgrades will be included in Juul’s premarket tobacco application (PMTA) submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Any manufacturer wanting to gain authorization to market their new tobacco products in the United States must submit a PMTA by May 12, 2020.

Data collected through the device would include errors and diagnostics, phone numbers for account authentication and personal information to verify the legal age and ownership of the user, the report said.

Meanwhile, officials with Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group said they would submit a PMTA for a new version of their heat-not-burn device IQOS. During a Feb. 19 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Fla., officials said the IQOS 3 device would have a quicker battery charge time as opposed to the currently FDA-authorized 2.4 device.

With regard to Juul, Altria purchased a 35% interest in the e-cigarette maker but, due to lawsuits and recent regulatory actions, Altria took a considerable write-down on its investment, officials said in a January earnings call.

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