Juul Labs products are seen at a store in Palo Alto, California on September 21, 2019.
Yichuan Cao | Sipa USA | AP
Market leading e-cigarette company Juul is halting sales of its popular mint flavor, following the release of two damaging studies this week that showed the company’s role in a dramatic spike in teen use, the company announced Thursday.
Studies published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found high school students use mint more than any other of Juul’s flavors. Juul said it made the decision to pull mint in light of the results.
“These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the U.S. and earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with regulators, Attorneys General, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use. We will support the upcoming FDA flavor policy” and regulatory process to get its nicotine pods cleared for sale in the U.S., Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said in a statement.
Juul last month suspended sales of its other sweet flavors — mango, creme, fruit and cucumber. The company pulled these flavors from convenience stores, vape shops and other retailers last fall amid pressure from the Food and Drug Administration. Juul continued selling them on its age-verified website.
Juul has not made any final decisions on which flavors it will send to the FDA for review, a Juul spokesman said. All e-cigarette companies are required to submit applications to the FDA for a formal review by May.
Mint accounts for about 70% of Juul’s U.S. sales, according to a person familiar with the company’s finances who asked not to be named because the information is private. Juul will now sell just three flavors in the U.S.: menthol, Virginia tobacco and classic tobacco.
The Trump administration is expected to announce a policy that would ban flavored e-cigarettes, including mint. Local and state governments are pursuing similar policies. Public health advocates say sweet flavors attract kids to e-cigarettes.
Juul is widely blamed for fueling a surge in teen vaping after decades of successfully convincing kids not to smoke cigarettes. Crosthwaite, who joined Juul in September, is trying to repair Juul’s image.