Juul ends sale of mint fla­vor vape prod­ucts

The Korea Times - - HEALTH -

WASHINGTON (AFP) — E-cig­a­rette mar­ket leader Juul said Thurs­day it was end­ing the sale of mint-fla­vored prod­ucts in the U.S., ahead of a pos­si­ble ban by health au­thor­i­ties that is in­tended to cur­tail youth va­p­ing.

The de­ci­sion fol­lows the re­lease ear­lier this week of the 2019 Na­tional Youth To­bacco Sur­vey that said more than five mil­lion mid­dle and high school stu­dents re­ported us­ing e-cig­a­rettes in the past 30 days, an all-time high.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced last month it would soon put an end to the sale of fla­vored liq­uids used in e-cig­a­rettes, though whether there will be some ex­emp­tions is not yet clear.

The youth sur­vey found that mint fla­vor was the clear fa­vorite among 10th and 12th graders, and sec­ond fa­vorite after mango among 8th graders.

Mango-fla­vored liq­uid was sold by Juul un­til very re­cently and con­tin­ues to be sold by other mak­ers.

Juul’s CEO KC Crosth­waite said: “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.”

The com­pany will con­tinue to sell

Vir­ginia to­bacco, clas­sic to­bacco, and men­thol in the U.S. mar­ket, but has not an­nounced sim­i­lar fla­vor roll­backs for other coun­tries.

The move comes as the va­p­ing in­dus­try is fac­ing tough scru­tiny amid a mys­te­ri­ous epi­demic of lung con­di­tions linked to e-cig­a­rette use that has killed 39 peo­ple and sick­ened more than 2,000 in re­cent months, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data pub­lished Thurs­day.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say no sin­gle sub­stance is be­hind the out­break, but pre­lim­i­nary work has linked a cut­ting agent used in cannabis fla­vor­ings, usu­ally sold on the black mar­ket, to lung in­jury.

Juul is also fac­ing a law­suit by a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive who claims he was sacked for “whistle­blow­ing” for ob­ject­ing to ship­ment of al­legedly con­tam­i­nated pods and other un­safe con­duct like sell­ing ex­pired or near-ex­pired prod­ucts.

The com­pany has called the al­le­ga­tions base­less.

AFP-Yon­hap

A woman buys re­fills for her Juul at a smoke shop in New York, in this Dec. 20, 2018 file photo.

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