Just last month, Juul, the popular nicotine vaporizer, decided to cease sale of all its fruit flavors – creme, mango, fruit, cucumber. Now, in another effort to stay ahead of federal action, the company has made the decision to remove its popular mint flavor from retailers. Now, only tobacco and menthol remain.
The move comes following research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed mint was the most popular flavor among 10th and 12th grade Juul users. More than 40% said it was their most frequently used variety of pod. Even middle schoolers were found to be using the mint variety.
Juul cannot legally be sold to anyone under the age of 18.
Chief Executive K.C. Crosthwaite called the results of those studies “unacceptable” in announcing the move.
“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,” said Crosthwaite.
Juul has faced a considerable amount of public scrutiny over the past few months, stemming largely from reports that vaping was causing a string of deaths. Though the deaths were eventually attributed to toxic metals found in bootleg cannabis cartridges, the damage to Juul’s reputation had already been done.
San Francisco banned the sale of Juul outright in June; Michigan attempted to ban the sale of flavored pods before Juul itself took them off the market, though the ban was eventually blocked by a judge two weeks after it went into effect. In September, Juul CEO Kevin Burns resigned.
Will the decision to halt sales of mint pods be the final nail in Juul’s coffin? That remains to be seen, but it’s a very real possibility.