vaping industry. The voluntary step is the company's latest attempt to weather a growing political backlash blaming its flavored-nicotine products for hooking a generation of teenagers on electronic cigarettes.stopped selling fruit and dessert flavors Thursday, acknowledging the public's "lack of trust" in the
Juul, the best-selling e-cigarette brand in the U.S., has been besieged by scrutiny, including multiple investigations by Congress, the Food and Drug Administration and several state attorneys general. The company is also being sued by adults and underage Juul users who claim they were addicted to nicotine by the company's products. And the Trump administration hasnearly all vaping flavors.
The flavors affected by Thursday's announcement — mango, crème, fruit and cucumber — account for 10% of Juul's sales. It will continue selling its most popular flavors, mint and menthol, for now. A spokesman said the company is reviewing its products and practices and has not made "any final decisions."
Mint and menthol account for most of Juul's retail sales, according to analysts, and are the most popular flavors among teens. The San Francisco-based company will also continue to sell its tobacco-flavored vaping pods.
The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' Matthew Myers said that Juul's decision to keep selling mint and menthol shows "it isn't serious about preventing youth use."
"Juul knows that 64% of high school e-cigarette users now use mint or menthol flavors and this number is growing all the time," Myers said in a statement.
His group and others are urging the Trump administration to follow through on its proposal to ban all vaping flavors except tobacco.
The sales concession comes less than a month after a major shake-up at the privately held firm, in which it pledged to stop advertising and agreed to stop lobbying against the administration's proposed flavor ban.
"We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers and stakeholders," the company's new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, said in a statement. Crosthwaite was named CEO last month. He previously worked as an executive for Marlboro-maker Altria, which is also Juul's biggest investor.
This week's move marks a remarkable shift for Juul, which had argued for years that its flavors help adult smokers quit cigarettes.