WASHINGTON, D.C. (KNWA) — In the midst of a vaping epidemic, a major e-cigarette company has suspended the sale of certain flavored pods.
Juul, the best-selling e-cigarette company in the U.S. that brands itself as the smoking alternative, says it will not sell mango, creme, fruit, and cucumber flavors online.
Juul’s CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, is quoted saying, “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.”
The flavors were only available by Juul online, which has strict age-verification controls.
Mint and menthol, the most popular flavors, are still available.
Renee Malouf, Prairie Grove mom and nurse, believes Juul isn’t going far enough when it comes to discouraging teenagers from vaping.
“Just because they’re suspending it doesn’t mean that anyone else is going to stop selling the flavors,” she said. “I think they did that more as a move to say, ‘hey look we’re making these big changes so that people will get off their backs.’ I don’t think it’s a meaningful change.”
The move comes after increasing scrutiny against the vaping industry.
The Trump administration has proposed banning nearly all vaping flavors.
Donny Scott, Vapor Maven Manager, says taking away flavors could end up fueling the black market.
“You take away the flavors, they’re going to find it from someplace. Someone is gonna make it in their house, put chemicals in it that shouldn’t be in there — which is what we’re seeing with these black market THC products,” he said. “They’ve got cotton candy flavored vodka. You can walk into any gas station, flavored beer, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and that is one hundred times more harmful than any nicotine or vaping product.”
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is applauding Juul for suspending the sale of certain e-cigarette flavors.
“JUUL and fellow e-cigarette companies have made millions of dollars by directly advertising to entice our children to purchase these harmful products,” Rutledge said. “Today’s announcement by JUUL is another step closer to protecting our children from these dangerous devices.”