Juul halts sales of top-selling e-cigarette flavor

Juul pulls mint flavor from shelves amid vaping health crisis

Juul pulls mint flavor from shelves amid vaping health crisis

In a statement Thursday, Juul said it made the decision to halt mint sales "in light of" new data released this week showing mint's popularity among underage vapers.

'These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the USA, ' said the company's CEO KC Crosthwaite, in a statement.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study found that more than half of teenagers who vape use Juul e-cigarettes, and its mint pods were the number one choice of high school students. Federal health officials are expected to soon release plans for removing most vaping flavours from the market.

Juul announced last month that it would stop the sale of flavors other than tobacco, mint and menthol. The Food and Drug Administration is considering a ban on flavors, but it has not yet decided whether mint and menthol would be included in the ban.

On Thursday health officials reported 2,051 confirmed and probable cases of a mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping and a further two deaths, taking the death toll to 39.

In October it stopped selling its fruit and dessert flavors in the United States. Mint and menthol accounted for almost 60 per cent of the company's retail sales in the past year, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog. For years, Juul has argued that its e-cigarettes are meant to help adult smokers switch to a less harmful nicotine product. In the latest government survey, more than one in four USA high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month despite federal law banning sales to those younger than 18.

The company was quickly criticized for not pulling the menthol flavor, too.

"If they really wanted to keep the kids away they would also get rid of menthol", said Meredith Berkman of Parents Against Vaping E-Cigarettes.

Some 27.5% of high school students, and 10.5% of middle school students, said they had used e-cigarettes in the past month, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association study.

E-cigarettes typically heat a solution that contains nicotine, which makes cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive.

Juul, the nation's bestselling e-cigarette brand, has been besieged by scrutiny, including multiple investigations by Congress, the FDA and several state attorneys general.

Chief Executive Officer K.C. Crosthwaite said Juul will immediately stop accepting orders for mint liquid-nicotine pods from retailers, and also will stop selling the products online.

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