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."
The company will continue to sell tobacco, mint and menthol pods in US retail locations, 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."
The company also recently announced it was suspending all broadcast, print and digital product advertising in the US.
This latest move comes after the Trump Administration announced the US Food and Drug Administration would issue guidance that would remove flavors from the market. 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.
A representative from the FDA provided the following statement:
"The FDA remains committed to our oversight of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and to keeping all tobacco products out of the hands of youth.
We share the belief that all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, should never be marketed to, sold to, or used by kids – and we need to make every effort to prevent kids from getting hooked on nicotine. The companies making these products, the retailers selling them, and the online venues that help to fuel the teen popularity of, and access to, these products must redouble efforts to follow the law and not sell or market to kids.
At the FDA, we’ll continue using all of our tools to protect kids, including compliance and enforcement actions and penalties as well as important work to educate youth about the dangers of e-cigarette use.
In particular, the FDA recently announced that, as part of its ongoing work to tackle the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, the agency intends to finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize its enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements to clear the market of unauthorized, e-cigarette products in flavors that appeal to kids. The FDA plans to share more on the specific details of the plan and its implementation soon."