Juul halts US gross sales of fashionable mint-flavored e-cigarettes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Juul Labs mentioned Thursday it’s going to halt U.S. gross sales of its best-selling, mint-flavored digital cigarettes because it struggles to outlive a nationwide backlash towards vaping.

The voluntary step comes days after new authorities analysis confirmed that Juul is the highest model amongst excessive schoolers who use e-cigarettes and that many favor mint.

“These results are unacceptable,” mentioned the corporate’s CEO Okay.C. Crosthwaite, including in an announcement that the corporate should “earn the trust of society.”

Underage vaping has reached what well being officers name epidemic ranges. In the most recent authorities survey, 1 in four highschool college students reported utilizing e-cigarettes within the earlier month, regardless of federal regulation banning gross sales to these underneath 18.

Under fireplace for its alleged position in sparking the vaping craze amongst teenagers, Juul has made a collection of concessions to try to climate a crackdown from native, state and federal officers. It stopped promoting fashionable fruit and dessert flavors in shops final yr, and final month, stopped promoting them on-line, too.

Earlier, the corporate changed its CEO and pledged to cease promoting its merchandise. For years, Juul has argued that its e-cigarettes are meant to assist grownup people who smoke swap to a much less dangerous nicotine product. But its early advertising campaigns have been primarily on social media and featured younger, trendy fashions. The firm subsequently shuttered its Facebook and Instagram accounts.

After halting mint gross sales, Juul will solely promote menthol and tobacco flavors. Mint and menthol accounted for practically 60% of the corporate’s retail gross sales up to now yr, based on knowledge compiled by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog.

Fruit, sweet, dessert and different flavored e-cigarettes have been focused due to their attraction to underage customers. Federal well being officers are anticipated to quickly launch plans for eradicating most vaping flavors from the market, and Juul has mentioned it’s going to assist and adjust to that authorities coverage.

In September, President Donald Trump mentioned the flavour ban would come with mint and menthol flavors. However, no particulars have but been launched, main vaping opponents to fret that the administration is backing away from its unique plan.

Representatives for these teams instantly criticized Juul for not additionally pulling its menthol taste.

“If they really wanted to keep the kids away they would also get rid of menthol,” mentioned Meredith Berkman of Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes. “We hope the administration will understand that too — they should be taking menthol off the market.”

Mint and menthol have typically been handled interchangeably by vaping researchers.

But a brand new research launched Monday suggests menthol doesn’t have the identical attraction as mint. The research discovered that mint was the most well-liked taste amongst Juul customers in 10th and 12th grades and the second-most fashionable amongst middle-schoolers. In distinction, lower than 6% of youngsters throughout all grades most popular menthol. The research by University of Southern California researchers was based mostly on a survey that included 1,800 Juul customers.

Flavors have been banned from conventional cigarettes within the U.S. since 2009, aside from menthol.

San Francisco-based Juul is the best-selling e-cigarette model within the U.S. The privately held firm has been besieged by authorized troubles, together with a number of investigations by Congress, federal companies and several other state attorneys common. The firm can be being sued by adults and underage Juul customers who declare they grew to become hooked on nicotine by means of the corporate’s merchandise.

E-cigarettes usually warmth an answer that comprises nicotine, which makes cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely liable for all content material.

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