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Juul Suspends US Sales Of Fruit-flavored E-cigarettes

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E-cigarette maker Juul Labs, which is facing investigation amid the alarming increase in EVALI - the vaping related illness, decided to suspend the sale of non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavors in the U.S.

The move, pending FDA review, is a further step from its new CEO K.C. Crosthwaite as the Trump administration is preparing to impose a ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid teen vaping epidemic.

The company noted that the fruit-flavored e-cigarettes, including Mango, Creme, Fruit, and Cucumber, were made available only at JUUL.com, which has strict age-verification controls.

Crosthwaite said, "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."

Crosthwaite, who took charge in late September, initially suspended all broadcast, print, and digital product advertising in the U.S. The company also ceased active support of Proposition C in San Francisco, and is refraining from lobbying the Administration on its draft flavor guidance. Juul said it will fully support and comply with the final policy when effective.

However, it is yet to be seen how the decision is going to reduce the ever-increasing vaping among youth. FDA's preliminary data had indicated that about 64 percent of high school students who use e-cigarettes now use mint or menthol flavors, which are still available.

Juul is facing criminal investigation by Federal prosecutors for its marketing tactics towards teens and youth. The state and federal officials are taking strong stand against e-cigarettes and vaping as more deaths are being reported related to EVALI - the lung illness caused by the use of e-cigarette, or vaping products. As per the latest CDC report, 26 deaths and 1,299 cases have been reported as of October 8 due to EVALI.

The Federal Trade Commission has recently ordered Juul and five other e-cigarette manufacturers to submit information related to sales data and promotional practices in the U.S. from the past 4 years.

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