Juul Labs announced Thursday that it is halting sales of its popular mint-flavored e-cigarettes in the United States.
The move came amid expectations the Trump administration is close to banning flavored e-cigarettes, except for menthol and tobacco. The timing of that announcement is unclear.
Mint accounts for about 70 percent of Juul’s sales in the United States, compared with 20 percent for tobacco-flavored vapes and 10 percent for menthol, according to sales figures. Juul stopped selling its popular mango, fruit, creme and cucumber liquid-nicotine pods in brick-and-mortar stores last year and online in September.
In a statement Thursday, Juul said it made the decision to halt mint sales “in light of” new data released this week showing mint’s popularity among underage vapers. The studies indicated that teens prefer Juul products and that mint is their favorite flavor.
CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said Juul will immediately stop accepting orders for mint liquid-nicotine pods from retailers and will stop selling the products online.
The newly released data, he said, “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.”
He added that the company “will support the upcoming FDA flavor policy” and will follow the agency’s process for getting authorization to sell its products.
Juul said it now sells two kinds of tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes and one menthol vape, and will not rebrand mint under any other name unless cleared by the FDA.
The administration’s expected ban on flavored vaping products is a response to the surge in youth vaping. In September, President Donald Trump vowed to remove all nontobacco-flavored vapes from the market, including menthol.