At least one-third of all American schools have a JUUL e-cigarette retailer nearby, data shows

2 weeks ago by James Mattone in Facts, News, Trends

As the U.S. government continues its investigation of how e-cigarette companies such as JUUL ($JUUL) market to minors, Thinknum data shows that at least a third of all U.S. public schools are within one mile of a place where such products are sold.

We looked at location data for 98,269 public schools across all 50 states, and 35,702 of them — more than a third of all schools — have at least one place where e-cigarette products are sold. In terms of a half mile radius from these schools, which is theoretically a short walk from campus, 16% of public schools have a nearby e-cigarette seller.

Here's the percentage breakdown by state of how many schools have at least one JUUL seller nearby:

State Total Schools Affected Schools (One Mile) Percentage (One Mile) Affected Schools (Half Mile) Percentage (Half Mile)
AK 445 98 22% 33 7%
AL 1431 338 24% 120 8%
AR 1092 412 38% 171 16%
AZ 2428 1317 54% 628 26%
CA 10291 3647 35% 1674 16%
CO 1903 928 49% 473 25%
CT 1248 292 23% 122 10%
DC 227 59 26% 33 15%
DE 231 55 24% 27 12%
FL 4392 2167 49% 945 22%
GA 2319 619 27% 185 8%
HI 290 44 15% 19 7%
IA 1310 948 72% 500 38%
ID 725 200 28% 88 12%
IL 4035 1405 35% 673 17%
IN 1909 830 43% 395 21%
KS 1302 633 49% 320 25%
KY 1527 499 33% 218 14%
LA 1389 430 31% 174 13%
MA 1849 514 28% 266 14%
MD 1429 290 20% 149 10%
ME 613 270 44% 137 22%
MI 3767 1167 31% 421 11%
MN 2546 1447 57% 718 28%
MO 2349 1047 45% 566 24%
MS 1047 144 14% 53 5%
MT 801 105 13% 51 6%
NC 2659 557 21% 188 7%
ND 518 165 32% 94 18%
NE 677 417 62% 198 29%
NH 485 210 43% 108 22%
NJ 2544 398 16% 203 8%
NM 880 223 25% 96 11%
NV 736 444 60% 257 35%
NY 4819 1181 25% 569 12%
OH 3650 1626 45% 711 19%
OK 1688 509 30% 179 11%
OR 1239 578 47% 249 20%
PA 2962 1010 34% 463 16%
RI 318 54 17% 18 6%
SC 1267 360 28% 131 10%
SD 691 187 27% 85 12%
TN 1776 472 27% 172 10%
TX 9237 3665 40% 1484 16%
UT 1030 425 41% 174 17%
VA 2126 642 30% 295 14%
VT 311 56 18% 36 12%
WA 2437 1029 42% 477 20%
WI 2271 1149 51% 488 21%
WV 689 286 42% 170 25%
WY 364 154 42% 71 20%

(Subscribers can see every single school listed and how many JUUL retailers are nearby here)

The percentage is a starting point for the true number of e-cigarette retailers near schools. Given that there are other e-cigarette brands sold in America, distributors who have unlisted/difficult to scrape coordinates, and other factors that could expose children and teens to e-cigarettes close to school grounds, it is possible that there is a greater percentage of schools who have an e-cigarette distributor nearby.

Here is where JUUL stores — those who list their locations on the JUUL website — appear as of October 3.

(Click the image for a larger version of the map)

Recently, the Federal Drug Administration launched an investigation into JUUL and other e-cigarette manufacturers, going so far as to raid JUUL's headquarters yesterday. The FDA hinted at adding federal requirements to these manufacturers in the near future, such as changing how they market themselves, removing flavored products — ones that taste like a mango or creme brulee — or halting the distribution of these products to retailers who sell to kids.

On a granular level, each state has different laws when it comes to tobacco. In Oregon, a person must be 21-years-old to purchase tobacco. In Iowa, where 72% of schools are within one mile of a JUUL retailer, an 18-year-old person — a high school senior, for example — can buy and smoke tobacco in any form.

Having retailers near school grounds exposes children to advertising by these e-cigarette retailers, according to the tobacco control non-profit the Truth Initiative. Recent research shows that more than 96 percent of e-cigarette marketing goes into retail marketing, which includes advertisements shown inside and facing outside stores in windows and product displays.

Not all retailers are created equal, however; some JUUL retailers are smoke shops that prevent children and teenagers from entering, while others are convenience stores such as 7-Eleven ($TYO:3380) that are open to anyone. These are all included in the dataset for JUUL retailers, one that will be updated as new stores are populated into the database.

James Mattone

James is a recent Boston University graduate who calls the world of esports and video games his home. As a young journalist, he has already covered two E3 expos a...

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