Parents hold anti-vaping protest outside of Juul headquarters in New York City

Dozens of parents and anti-vaping advocates held a protest Tuesday (August 20) outside the JUUL offices in Manhattan.

Critics want the City Council to restrict the e-cigarette company from selling flavored products, which they say attract kids.

Last year, Altria, the parent company of Marlboro-maker Philip Morris USA, bought a 35% stake in Juul.

“Kids start with flavored pods,” said 16-year-old Phillip Fuhrman, who is now vape-free after taking his first puff of a JUUL two years ago. “When my mom took my first one away from me and I started to feel the withdrawal symptoms, that was the first time I realized I was addicted.”

Stanford University Professor Robert Jackler, an expert in tobacco advertising, testified before Congress earlier this year that Juul’s early promotions — including youthful models, colorful advertising and launch parties across the U.S. — mimicked tactics pioneered by cigarette makers.

The group is backing a bill sponsored by City Councilman Mark Levine.
Last November, JUUL announced it was pulling its flavored pods from more than 90,000 stores nationwide.

Vaping advocates also attended today’s rally to share their perspective.