PITTSBURGH (CNN/KDKA) — Leading e-cigarette company Juul Labs will stop selling several flavored products in the United States, the company announced Thursday.
Only tobacco, mint and menthol flavors will remain for sale. Meanwhile, Juul’s mango, creme, fruit and cucumber flavors have already been removed from the online store — which was the only place the company sold these products directly to 21-and-up consumers in the United States after it pulled them from retail locations late last year.
These flavored pods will continue to be sold abroad.
Juul’s new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, said he hopes the move builds trust in the vaping industry: “We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers.”
As the safety of e-cigarettes continues to be under question, one local woman is reportedly taking Juul to federal court.
According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Kimberly Mays says when she used her Juul e-cigarette, it triggered two seizures and has left her with permanent injuries.
Pennsylvania has also had one vaping-related death confirmed so far.
In September, the Allegheny County Department of Health’s Chief Epidemiologist and Deputy Director Dr. LuAnn Brink said they, along with the CDC and Pennsylvania State Department of Health, are investigating 13 suspected cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping.
This latest move comes after the Trump Administration announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would issue guidance that would remove flavors from the market, including mint and menthol. It also comes amid efforts to ban the sale of flavored products in some states. Advocates for the bans say flavors appeal to kids and minimize how harmful and addictive vapes are perceived to be, but opponents say they’re an important tool in getting adults to switch over from combustible cigarettes.
The company will continue to sell tobacco, mint and menthol pods in U.S. retail locations and online, but Juul will “continue to review our policies and practices in advance of FDA’s flavor guidance and have not made any final decisions,” according to a Juul spokesperson. “We are refraining from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance and will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective.”
Juul also recently announced it was suspending all broadcast, print and digital product advertising in the US.
Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said Juul’s announcement “shows that it hasn’t changed one bit under its new leadership and isn’t serious about preventing youth use.”
“This announcement shows why the Trump Administration must stand up to pressure from Juul and Altria and move forward with its plan to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from the market, including mint and menthol — as the Administration said it would do in its September 11 announcement.”
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