Juul Labs is no longer selling certain flavors of its e-cigarettes pods, including mango, creme, fruit and cucumber online.
The company, by far the most popular provider of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, made the announcement Thursday. It has previously stopped selling these kid-friendly flavors in stores.
Juul will continue to sell tobacco, mint and menthol flavors online, insisting those products may be able to help adult smokers move away from cigarettes.
However, many youth addiction experts say it’s the minty flavors in particular that are attractive to young people. A recent study showed teen e-cigarette use doubled in recent years.
“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,” K.C. Crosthwaite, CEO for Juul, said in a statement.
Crosthwaite, an executive at tobacco giant Altria, replaced former Juul CEO, Kevin Burns, in September.
At that time, the company also said it would stop advertising in the U.S. and will no longer lobby the Trump administration on its proposed ban on flavored vaping devices, including mint and menthol.
“We continue to review our policies and practices in advance of FDA’s flavor guidance and have not made any final decisions,” Austin Finan, a spokesman for Juul, said in a statement. “We are refraining from lobbying the administration on its draft flavor guidance and will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective.”
The move was met with skepticism by anti-tobacco groups.
“Juul’s announcement today that it is leaving mint and menthol flavors on the market shows that it hasn’t changed one bit under its new leadership and isn’t serious about preventing youth use,” Matthew Myers, president for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.
“If the company truly wants to address its role in the youth vaping epidemic, it would stop selling all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol,” said Matthew Wellington, a campaign director with the U.S. Public Interest Research group.
Last month, the Trump administration announced plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, but has yet to finalize that decision.
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