The US leader in electronic cigarettes, Juul Labs, announced Thursday the suspension of sales of non-mentholated flavored refills in the United States, while the government of Donald Trump is preparing a national ban.
The brand will stop selling mango, cream, fruit and cucumber flavors until federal health authorities finalize new regulations on vaping, Juul said in a statement. The "podsTobacco, menthol and mint flavors will continue to be sold.
"We need to start the vaping industry from scratch by gaining the confidence of society and cooperating with regulators, public authorities and all stakeholders to fight against the vaping of young people, while offering an alternative to adult smokersSaid Juul's new chief executive, K.C. Crosthwaite, named last month.
A healthier alternative to cigarettes, according to the industry
A showdown is currently taking place in the United States on electronic cigarettes, which appeared about ten years ago and have become popular in recent years among young people, according to multiple surveys. The industry advocates the role of e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to smoking to help people quit smoking. But legislators across the country, and abroad, are tempted or have already enacted a total or partial ban to protect youth.
Donald Trump's administration has chosen the path to ban flavored e-liquids, a ban that would include the very popular tastes of mint and menthol, the health minister said in September. The text has not been published yet but should besoonTold AFP on Tuesday a spokesman for the US Drug Agency, which has tutelage on tobacco and electronic cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration.
33 deaths related to vaping
Juul assured that she would not challenge the FDA's upcoming regulation, but by Thursday's decision, the company says she believes that mint and menthol must remain allowed.
These debates occur as a mysterious epidemic of severe pulmonary diseases linked to vaping has caused 33 deaths in the United States, with 1,479 patients identified since the spring, according to figures released Thursday by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC). In 78% of cases, the patients had voked refills with THC, the psychoactive agent of cannabis, often bought from dealers and manufactured outside any regulatory framework.