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Juul patents an A.I. vape to help people quit nicotine

Juul has been at the center of the vaping illness epidemic for its easy-to-use e-cigarette devices but now, a new patent suggests that the company might be looking to make a product to help people quit nicotine. 

A patent application for a new vaping product was filed by Juul last summer and was recently made public, as first reported by The Logic. The patent, called Devices and Methods for Cessation of Nicotine Addiction, is essentially an A.I.-powered vape that helps users quit nicotine by delivering fewer nicotine amounts through a vaping device by learning a user’s smoking habits over time. 

“An application and/or a controller may apply machine learning to adjust delivery of nicotine and/or non-nicotine vaporizable material to the user based on received inputs from the user. The inputs may be received directly from the user or they may be learned through monitoring the vaporizer use and behavior of the user,” the patent reads. 

The vaping device would be able to sync up with a smartphone app where the user can keep track of various settings on their Juul device. These would include how much nicotine they are getting, set session limits, adjust the amount of nicotine delivered through the vape, play games or take part in social interactions to help ease the stress of quitting and more. 

As users smoke the vaping device more and more, nicotine would be replaced with a similar product like citric acid, at a gradual pace based on machine learning to reduce how much nicotine the user inhales. 

To better keep people accountable, the data from the vape could be shared with users’ friends, family, and even doctors to keep them on track toward quitting nicotine. 

“For example, a vaporizer may be configured to share usage information with others, such as third parties, e.g., health care providers, including doctors, etc. for better prescription and administration of medical treatment,” the patent explains. “A vaporizer and/or vaporizer system may also be configured to communicate with non-medical third parties (e.g., friends, colleagues, etc.).” 

A Juul spokesperson told Digital Trends that the patent does not mean that the product will become a reality.

“Like many companies, we file patent applications for protection on a variety of potential technologies. The fact that we have filed for such patent protection does not mean Juul Labs will move forward with the commercial development of any particular technological concept,” the spokesperson said. “We remain focused on resetting the vapor category and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and transition adult smokers from combustible cigarettes.”

Digital Trends also reached out to Truth, a national campaign aimed at eliminating smoking, to see what they thought of Juul’s patent and if something like it could actually work in helping people to stop smoking. We will update this story when we hear back.

EVA HAMBACH/Getty Images

Juul has always advertised its vaping products as being a safer and healthier substitution to traditional cigarette smoking, and even as a way to help aid in quitting altogether. However, studies consistently show e-cigarette smokers are less likely to quit than regular smokers who have never used these kinds of devices.

Vaping has now been proven not to be as safe as we once thought. Some vaping products have resulted in rapid and severe lung-related illnesses that have sometimes even lead to deaths. 

As of February 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 68 people have died and that there have been 2,807 cases of lung injuries caused by vaping in the U.S. 

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Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
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