E-cigarette maker Juul is opening its first retail store in Toronto, Canada amid mounting concern about the brand’s role in the rise of teen vaping.
The Juul store in Toronto’s west-end, which opened to customers Monday, marks the California-based company’s first brick-and-mortar location in North America.
Upon entering, Juul says all visitors will be asked to provide identification to prove they meet Ontario’s legal age of 19 to purchase vaping products before they can pass through the clouded glass doors concealing the offerings from public view.
Those who gain entry will find Juul’s devices and cartridges laid out on tables in the sleek showroom style of an Apple store. Patrons can interact with the devices, but not test them, because vaping is prohibited indoors.
At a media preview on Monday morning, Michael Nederhoff, general manager of Juul Labs in Canada, said the store was designed to be an “educational venue” for adult smokers looking to learn about vaping.
But as Juul has emerged as Canada’s leading vaping brand, critics say the company is at risk of creating a new generation of nicotine addicts in light of recent research suggesting that the prevalence of teenage vaping has nearly doubled.