Leading e-cigarette company Juul has halted sales of its popular mint flavor tobacco products, the company announced on Thursday.
Mint-flavored products reportedly account for 70% of Juul’s sales and are particularly popular with younger vapers.
According to a Journal of the American Medical Association study published this week high school students use mint more than any other of Juul’s flavors.
“These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the US and earn the trust of society by working cooperatively with regulators, attorneys general, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use,” Juul’s chief executive officer, KC Crosthwaite, said in a statement.
The decision to end mint sales comes after Juul dropped other flavors, including mango, that were popular with adolescent e-cigarette users.
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.
Pressure to end the sales mounted after a former Juul executive claimed in a wrongful termination lawsuit that the company knew teens would buy mint products when mango was taken off the market.
“You need to have an IQ of 5 to know that when customers don’t find mango they buy mint,” the then chief executive, Kevin Burns, allegedly told employees, according to the lawsuit.
Juul has called the wrongful termination claim “baseless” and has said it will vigorously defend it.
Juul’s decision to drop its most popular product comes as the Trump administration is preparing to ban the sale of flavored vaping products amid record levels of vaping among teenagers. Vaping advocates have pushed for the administration to exempt mint and menthol flavors from the ban.
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.
Vaping-related illnesses have also increased. 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.
The cause of those deaths and illnesses has yet to be ascertained but have been linked to the use of vaping oils containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
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