On Thursday, e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs announced that it would be suspending the sale of all fruity flavored vape pods until the products are fully reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.
“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,” Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said in a statement Thursday.
This announcement means that all mango, creme, fruit, and cucumber-flavored vape pods will no longer be available for sale unless they receive formal approval from the FDA.
Crosthwaite’s move follows a year of lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups pushing to have e-cigarettes more heavily regulated after studies showed skyrocketing numbers of young people using the products. Pressure on the industry intensified after more than 1,000 people in the United States reported severe — and in some cases deadly — lung injuries after vaping, with a majority of patients reporting falling ill after using products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). A clear connection has yet to be made between Juul and these mysterious lung injuries, but organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people to stop vaping in general until more is known about these possible health threats. Juul does not manufacture products containing THC, but bootleg products containing THC can be used with Juul devices.
The Trump administration announced in September that it would move to ban all flavored vapes from the US market after these injuries began to pop up across the country. In the next few months, the FDA is expected to release regulatory guidance to remove these vaping and e-cigarette products out of the market until they’re FDA approved.
“Not only is it a problem overall, but really specifically with respect for children,” Trump said earlier this year. He continued, “We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it.”