In its latest effort to calm regulators, electronic cigarette maker Juul said on Thursday that it would stop selling cream, fruit, berry and mango flavors in the US until the products have been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, the company will continue to sell its popular menthol-based flavors, including mint.
Juul has faced a number of public setbacks in recent months. The company is being investigated by the FDA, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, federal federal prosecutors in California, and several state prosecutors for allegedly misleading users and making unconfirmed claims about their products.
Addition to Juul's misery, the e-cigarette industry has been under intense scrutiny since a mysterious weapon-related disease, now known as EVALI, spread across the United States, sickened nearly 1
Juul states that it supports the FDA's approval process. "We need to reset the steam category by earning community trust and working with regulators, policy makers and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers," Juul CEO KC Crosthwaite said in a statement. Crosthwaite, who was appointed CEO in late September, was previously an executive director of tobacco company Altria, which owns a 35 percent stake in Juul.
The company has also withdrawn all of its digital, TV and print advertising and stopped funding a ballot measure in San Francisco that would overturn the city's ban on e-cigarettes, and it has stopped lobbying the Trump administration. Juul removed bowls of fruit and flavorings from stores in 2018, and only sold them on the site, where buyers must be over 21 years of age to purchase them.
Thursday's announcement did little to reassure anti-gun activists. In a statement, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spends $ 160 million to stop youth gunfire, said: "Juul's decision to keep mint and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes is a side right out of the tobacco industry playbook. ”
Many health professionals, including the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Children, have asked for a complete ban on flavored e-cigarettes. If you continue to market menthol and mint pads, they will say little, to deter youth vaping, which has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the CDC, youth dumping increased by 78 percent from 2017 to 2018. One out of five high schools says they have gone over the last 30 days. Meredith Berkman, co-founder of the Parents Against E-Cigarette Violence Group, says that Juul's decision will affect teenage gun violence "not at all." the Trump administration threatened to ban all flavourful vaping products, including mint and menthol. One month and more than 500 EVALI cases later, the ban has not been implemented.
Garrett Nelson, senior analyst at CFRA Research, says mint and menthol account for 85 percent of Juul's sales in US stores, where Juul is no longer selling fruit or dessert flavors. According to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey of 2019, over 60 percent of high schools use mint flavored e-cigarettes, almost the same number as using fruit-flavored buns. Juul does not disclose online sales.
Outside the United States, in countries such as the Philippines, Juul's mango and cream flavors are still available. In France, the United Kingdom and Italy, the company continues to sell several fruit and dessert flavors, including apple, berry and vanilla.