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Juul’s Decision to End Sales of Mint Pods Is Not a Substitute for FDA Action to Remove All Flavored E-Cigarettes

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
November 07, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Juul’s announcement today that it is stopping the sale of its mint pods follows the tobacco industry playbook of making changes only when it has absolutely no choice, and then to make a change that will have far less impact than it appears.

This announcement was forced by enormous pressure and the irrefutable scientific evidence that Juul’s mint-flavored products are attracting and addicting kids. Juul is trying to get PR mileage out of an action it knows it will soon be required to take by federal regulators.

We’ve seen this movie before. Juul made a similar move a year ago when it announced it was removing fruit- and dessert-flavored products from stores. Just as Juul had to know, rather than stop using Juul products, kids immediately shifted to the company’s mint products and youth e-cigarette use continued to skyrocket. With mint removed, kids will almost certainly shift to Juul’s menthol pods, and other e-cigarette companies will continue to sell mint as long as the federal government allows. There is also nothing to stop Juul from reintroducing its mint pods when it thinks the pressure is off or from renaming its mint pods as menthol, as Juul has reportedly been considering.

Voluntary tobacco industry policies have never worked and are not a substitute for mandatory, industry-wide regulation. We urge the Trump Administration to swiftly implement its plan to have the FDA clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, without exception. With over 5 million kids now using e-cigarettes and the youth epidemic getting worse every day, there is no time to waste in eliminating all flavored e-cigarettes.