Embattled vaping giant Juul Labs said Thursday it will stop sales of its mint flavor, which watchdogs say has contributed to the nation’s youth vaping crisis.
The company had already suspended sales of its mango, creme, fruit and cucumber flavors amid billowing scrutiny and the likelihood of a federal ban on non-tobacco, non-menthol flavors.
Juul said Thursday it will stop accepting retail and online orders for mint pods in the U.S. after absorbing the recent results of multiple studies, including the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. That study found “disturbing rates of e-cigarette use among both middle and high school students in 2019” and found that a majority of such users consumed Juul products.
“These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the U.S. and earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with regulators, Attorneys General, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use,” Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said in a statement.
Juul pledged to abide by the Food and Drug Administration’s forthcoming decision on vaping flavors. The agency is widely expected to ban non-menthol, non-tobacco flavors, though watchdogs say Juul could try to rename its mint flavor as menthol.
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Juul said last month that it still believed flavored e-cigarettes could play a critical role in “helping adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes,” which cause cancer.
Vaping critics say the act can lead people, especially youth, to start smoking.
Juul’s U.S. sales are now limited to three types: Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco and Menthol pods.
Juul said Thursday in a statement that “it will not sell any others under any name unless they are first authorized by the FDA.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.