Juul to Halt Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes in Stores

Juul Labs announced it will stop selling the majority of its flavored e-cigarette pods in retail stores and will halt its “social media promotions” starting Tuesday, The New York Times reports. CEO Kevin Burns announced in a statement that the company will stop accepting retail orders for Juul pod flavors like mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber—but will keep selling flavors like menthol, mint, and tobacco. However, Juul said it would renew the sale of flavored pods once retail outlets have “age-verification technology.” The company also said it is shutting down its U.S. Facebook and Instagram accounts, which previously promoted its flavored pods.

This comes as the Food and Drug Administration is expected to move forward with a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales in convenience stores and gas stations. The agency will also reportedly announce age-verification requirements for online e-cigarette sales later this week. Juul has been the subject of serious scrutiny by the FDA, culminating in a raid of Juul’s offices last month that reportedly sought “documents related to marketing.” According to preliminary government data obtained by the Times, over 3 million middle and high schoolers reportedly used e-cigarettes—with about a third of them claiming “flavors were a big factor in their choice.” “Our intent was never to have youth use Juul,” Burns said in a statement. “But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem.”