Days after the release of a study showing that teens prefer mint-flavored vapes, Juul made a decision that’s sure to have people of all ages hoarding their pods.
As of Thursday, Juul will immediately stop selling mint Juul pods through its website and fulfilling mint Juul pod orders from retailers.
The company’s announcement attributes the decision to the Monitoring the Future study, as well as the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Survey that was released earlier in October. The latter study found that flavors such as mint were contributing to the prominence of youth vaping; the MTF study found that mint was the favorite Juul pod flavor of 12th and 10th graders, the second favorite flavor among 8th graders, and the flavor favored overall by “heavy Juulers” (teens who vaped 20 days or more in the last month).
“These results 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. We will support the upcoming FDA flavor policy and will follow the PMTA process,” Juul Labs CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said in a company statement.
Juul pods are in the crosshairs of regulators at the federal, state, and local levels because research has linked flavors to the rise of youth vaping. In response and as a show of good faith, Juul suspended the sale of fruity flavors, including mango, creme, fruit, and cucumber, in October. Now it has added mint to the list. Going forward, the only Juul pod flavors the company will sell are Virginia Tobacco, Classic Tobacco, and Menthol.
Still, the latest move might not be enough to satisfy youth health activists. Some call the difference between mint and menthol into question. Critics such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids assert that doing away with mint but keeping menthol is just a way to disguise the appealing, fresh minty flavor behind a more adult sounding name.