Oct. 17 (UPI) — E-cigarette maker Juul announced Thursday it’s suspending sales of all non-tobacco and non-menthol-based e-cigarette flavors, five weeks after the Trump administration proposed a ban on the products.
CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said the San Francisco-based company would halt online sales of its creme, mango, fruit and cucumber flavors. Juul stopped selling the flavors in retail stores last year to cut down on underage sales.
“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,” Crosthwaite said.
The move comes after Juul said it was conducting “a broad review of the company’s practices and policies.”
“Given the lack of trust in our industry, we believe the [Food and Drug Administration’s premarket tobacco product application] process and its ‘appropriate for the protection of the public health; standard are the best ways to assess the role these products can play in helping adult smokers move away from combustible cigarettes while also being kept out of the hands of youth,” the company said in a statement.
In September, The U.S. Health and Human Services Department said it planned to ban non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol flavors.
“We intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”
The action comes as e-cigarettes and other vaping products come under scrutiny after more than two dozen deaths and some 1,300 vaping-related illnesses in the United States. FDA investigators believe illicit THC-containing vapes, obtained through informal channels such as friends or on the street, may be to blame.
Juul said it will refrain from lobbying the government as it works on drafting guidance on vaping products, but the company said it will work on developing scientific evidence to support the use of its products.