Juul Halts Favored Pod Sales Amidst Continued Criticism

Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer/AP/Shutterstock.
You probably already know that vaping companies have been under fire in recent months by critics who say they’re to blame for an uptick in vaping among teens, as well as potentially connected to a rash of vaping-related deaths and illnesses. And Juul Labs seemed to respond to the criticism Thursday by announcing they’ll nix sales of their flavored e-cigarette pods in the U.S.
The New York Times reports they’ll no longer sell e-cigs in flavors such as mango, crème, fruit, and cucumber online. These flavors — which some argue made the company such a popular behemoth — have only been available online, since being pulled out of retail stores last year.
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Juul says it’s discontinuing the flavored vape sales until the Food and Drug Administration can review the e-cigs and their flavored pods, The Times reports. To date, Juul is under investigation by agencies on the federal and state level. It’s also been targeted by numerous lawsuits. Just last month, the FDA sent letters to Juul warning them against illegally marketing their products as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes
A month ago, President Donal Trump and the FDA made moves toward banning flavored e-cigs in response to the vaping-related public health crisis, which has left at least 33 people dead.  “We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected,” Trump said in a press conference in September. The Times notes that Juul’s decision seemed to be an effort timed "to get ahead of” the Trump Administration's anticipated ban. 
The Juul announcement comes as the company’s new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, is reviewing the company’s practices and policies, according to a Juul press release.  “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. 
It’s worth noting that a recent CDC report indicated that vapes from the black market and those containing THC, which is a psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, were linked to the vaping-related illnesses ravaging the country.  With that said, vaping products that contain nicotine are still being scrutinized by researchers and officials. In a recent public statement, the CDC noted: "Since the specific causes or c auses of lung injury are not yet known, the only way to assure that you are not at risk while the investigation continues, is to consider refraining from use of all e-cigarette, or vaping, products."
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