Juul to halt sales of flavored e-cigarettes in retail stores

Juul Labs

Juul Labs announced that it will temporarily stop selling e-cigarettes at more than 90,000 retail locations, according to a Yahoo report.

Just days after reports that the Food and Drug Administration is planning to propose further restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes, the maker of Juul announced Tuesday it is taking steps to curtail the use of its flavored products by teens.

"Juul Labs and FDA share a common goal - preventing youth from initiating on nicotine", Burns said in the release. It will sell all flavors through its website and limit sales to those 21 and older.

In addition, the company said it is shutting down its social media channels on Instagram and Facebook, and working with social media companies to remove "unauthorized, youth-oriented content on their platforms" relating to Juul.

A Juul e-cigarette and pods are seen in this picture illustration taken September 16, 2018.

The company had previously come under fire for targeting teens on social media.

"There is no question that this user-generated social media content is linked to the appeal of vaping to underage users", Burns wrote.

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"Juuling" has become synonymous with vaping in high schools across the country, where some teachers and administrators have started locking bathrooms, jokingly called "Juul rooms" by students. "But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem".

The FDA has been targeting the San Francisco-based Juul. Other flavours could still be sold at vape shops.

This year, Juul has worked with online marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba and Amazon to get rid of more than 23,000 third-party listings of Juul products and counterfeits, it said. Earlier this year, it began featuring only former cigarette smokers in its ads to highlight smoking cessation benefits. That last item suggests the FDA can indirectly censor constitutionally protected speech by holding the threat of ruinous regulatory action over the heads of e-cigarette companies.

E-cigarettes are generally considered a less unsafe alternative to regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned the nicotine in them is harmful to developing brains.

On the flip side, adult vape users have argued in favor of these liquids, stating that they're not interested in tastes that replicate tobacco cigarettes, nor are these flavors exclusively appealing to youth.

Dr. Gottlieb has recognized e-cigarettes' advantages for adult smokers who want to quit, but said a rise in usage among young people is an unacceptable tradeoff, so he may have to consider yanking flavored products from the market. The move aims to decrease underage access to vaping products, though these flavors aren't going entirely away: they'll still be available through the company's website, but age verification will be required for purchases.


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