Juul Will Stop Selling Fruity Flavors as Death Toll from Vaping-Related Illnesses Reaches 33

Maria Pasquini
Juul Will Stop Selling Fruity Flavors as Death Toll from Vaping-Related Illnesses Reaches 33

Popular e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs has announced they plan to stop selling several flavors in the United States amid the continuing backlash against vaping.

The company announced on Thursday in a press release that they will no longer be selling any of their “non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors,” which are mango, creme, fruit and cucumber.

Prior to the announcement, the fruity flavors were only available to customers over the age of 21 to purchase on the company’s website.

“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,” said new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite in a statement.

Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty

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Crosthwaite took over earlier this year, after previous CEO Kevin Burns announced he was stepping down.

In September, the company previously swore to stop all print, broadcast and digital advertisements in the U.S., including its “Make the Switch” campaign promoting Juul as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, a claim that the Food and Drug Administration said was illegal.

Additionally, Juul said that it will not fight the Trump administration’s plans to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes, which would have a major impact on the company’s bottom line.

In their latest press release, Juul reiterated its support to the previously announced changes.

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Juul’s announcement came as the Centers for Disease Control released a statement saying that the amount of confirmed and probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses was continuing to rise, and had reached 1,479.

The new total, up from 805 earlier this month, now includes reports from 49 states — excluding Alaska as well as the District of Columbia — and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A total of 33 deaths have been confirmed across 24 states.

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As part of their ongoing investigation, the CDC has announced that among 849 of patients who reported lung-related illnesses, 78 percent reported having used products containing THC within three months prior to the onset of their symptoms.

According to the CDC, the ages of patients range from 13 to 75 years old, and the median age of patients is 23. Meanwhile, the median age of patients who died from a result of their illnesses is 44.

Although the CDC has yet to identify what in e-cigarettes is causing the health problem, they have advised Americans so stop using vaping products, particularly those containing THC, as their investigation continues.

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The CDC previously said that stopping teen e-cigarette use is one of their priorities.

“Any tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe, especially for youth,” CDC director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. “Nicotine can harm the developing adolescent brain. We must do everything we can to reduce the use of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students to protect them from immediate lung injury and a lifetime of nicotine addiction.”

Several states have also enacted legislation restricting sales. Massachusetts announced in September that it will prohibit sales of all e-cigarettes for four months and will “work with our medical experts to identify what is making people sick and how to better regulate these products to protect the health of our residents,” Governor Charlie Baker said.

Massachusetts’ ban is the most restrictive, though New York and Michigan are also taking steps to reduce e-cigarette use. Both states announced that they will stop sales of flavored e-cigarettes. The city of San Francisco also said in June that they will ban all e-cigarette sales.