Juul pulls mint pods from US market as vaping crisis tops 2,000 cases
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now reporting over 2,000 cases of e-cigarette associated lung injury in a new update on the vaping crisis. Alongside this, the largest e-cig company in the United States has announced it will halt sales of mint-flavored pods after new studies revealed it to be the most popular flavor amongst teenagers.
The latest CDC update on the crisis reveals 2,051 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury (EVALI) have now been officially reported. The report also confirms 39 deaths have been connected to EVALI, and 53 is the median age of those deceased patients.
It is still reported that the majority of cases do involve the use of products containing THC. But not all reported cases can be attributed to THC products, and no single product can be linked with all reported cases at this stage.
In somewhat related news, massive e-cigarette company Juul has expanded its plans to discontinue selling flavored products. Previously announcing it will cease sales of Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber e-cigarette flavors, the company is now broadening its product suspensions to include popular Mint pods.
A statement from Juul CEO K.C. Crosthwaite suggests the addition of Mint JuulPods to the company’s self-imposed prohibition is based on recently published research finding the flavor is actually the most popular for many teenagers.
“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,” Crosthwaite said in a statement.
The new research surveyed over 40,000 US teenagers, revealing mint to be the most popular e-cigarette flavor among 10th and 12th grade respondents. It was the second most popular flavor among 8th grade respondents.
In a conclusion to the newly published study results, the researchers note that any regulations controlling the sales of flavored e-cigarettes with a view to limiting underage use must include mint flavors. This reference specifically targets Juul’s recent announcement to suspend sales of fruit flavors but not mint.
“The current findings raise uncertainty whether regulations or sales suspensions that exempt mint flavors are optimal strategies for reducing youth e-cigarette use,” the researchers write.