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Juul Halts Sales of Mint-Flavored E-Cigarettes, its Most Popular Product

Underage vaping has reached what health officials call epidemic levels

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Juul, Mint, E Cigarettes
FILE - A woman buys refills for her Juul at a smoke shop in New York, Dec. 20, 2018. VOA

Juul Labs said Thursday it will halt sales of its best-selling, mint-flavored electronic cigarettes as it struggles to survive a nationwide backlash against vaping.

The voluntary step comes days after new government research showed that Juul is the top brand among high schoolers who use e-cigarettes and that many prefer mint.

“These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the U.S.,” said the company’s CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, in a statement.

Underage vaping has reached what health officials call epidemic levels. In the latest government survey, 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the previous month, despite federal law banning sales to those under 18.

Juul, Mint, E Cigarettes
The voluntary step comes days after new government research showed that Juul is the top brand among high schoolers who use e-cigarettes and that many prefer mint. Pixabay

Under fire for its alleged role in sparking the vaping trend among teens, Juul has made a series of concessions to try and weather a crackdown from local, state and federal officials. It stopped selling popular fruit and dessert flavors in stores last year, and last month, stopped selling them online, too.

Earlier, the company replaced its CEO and pledged to stop advertising its products.

After halting mint sales, Juul will only sell menthol and tobacco flavors. Mint and menthol accounted for nearly 60% of the company’s retail sales in the past year, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog.

Fruit, candy, dessert and other flavored e-cigarettes have been targeted because of their appeal to underage users. Federal health officials are expected to soon release plans for removing most vaping flavors from the market.

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Lawsuits

In September, President Donald Trump said the flavor ban would include mint and menthol flavors. However, no details have yet been released, leading anti-vaping advocates to worry that the administration is backing away from its original plan.

Flavors are banned for traditional cigarettes in the U.S., except for menthol.

Juul, Mint, E Cigarettes
“These results are unacceptable and that is why we must reset the vapor category in the U.S.,” said the company’s CEO K.C. Crosthwaite, in a statement. Pixabay

Juul is the best-selling e-cigarette brand in the U.S., but has been besieged by legal troubles, including multiple investigations by Congress, federal agencies and several state attorneys general. The company is also being sued by adults and underage Juul users who claim they became addicted to nicotine through the company’s products.

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E-cigarettes typically heat a solution that contains nicotine, which makes cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive. They have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade and are often pitched as a lower-risk nicotine source for adult smokers. (VOA)

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Know About the Adverse Health Effects of E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes and the risks of chronic lung disease

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e-cigarettes
Dr Ashu Abhishek, Senior Consultant, Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) talks about the high risks of smoking e-cigarettes. Pixabay

With ample evidence available which links tobacco/nicotine to so many health-related issues (cancer, cardiac, pulmonary, psychological) it is still an ever growing industry in almost all countries around the world. This despite the fact that tobacco has been linked to cancer as far back as the 1950s.

Dr Ashu Abhishek, Senior Consultant, Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) talks about the high risks of smoking the e-cigarette variety. With rising awareness numerous alternatives are available in the market– e-cigarettes being one of the most important ones.

E-cigarettes are also known as e-cigs, ENDS or ANDS (electronic/ alternative nicotine delivery system), e-hookahs, vape pens or now even fancy pipes and flash drives.

e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes are also known as e-cigs, ENDS or ANDS (electronic/ alternative nicotine delivery system), e-hookahs, vape pens or now even fancy pipes and flash drives. Pixabay

Working of e-cigarettes is based on a battery operated heating device to heat any liquid into aerosol that imitates smoke/ vapour (Vaping). The idea was pretty good had it been restricted to nicotine or any chemical free device, but alas, it is now well known that these e-cigs, too, are harmful, leading to a number of countries imposing bans on these devices now.

Contrary to the beliefs of many, e-cigs are not always nicotine free, although the quantity may be less. Moreover the chemical used to produce aerosol or generated as a by-product in these devices may be synthetic like propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine for fogging.

Volatile organic compounds or VOCs, flavouring chemicals like diacetyl, Formaldehyde for a dry puff produced due to overheating are known not only to be cancer related but also causes chronic irritation in the lungs leading to airway diseases, asthma, cough, bronchitis, nose and throat irritation, headache and nausea.

Stress on cardiac functions, derangements in liver and kidney function and also psychological issues like anxiety, irritation, etc can be a result.

The issue with e-cigs is that even food and drug regulatory authorities in various countries are not aware of long term effect of many constituents used in these devices by many manufacturers. This is the reason there are no restrictions in the composition. Moreover, most of the potentially harmful constituents are not labelled correctly.

e-cigarettes
Working of e-cigarettes is based on a battery operated heating device to heat any liquid into aerosol that imitates smoke/ vapour. Pixabay

The other problem with e-cigs is that as it has ironically been thought to be a safe alternative to nicotine. This is not true because even though the actual presence of nicotine is in smaller amounts, the combination of other chemicals is still considered harmful. Majority of smokers do not switch completely, instead they end up being dual smokers of conventional and electronic cigarettes at the same time, which is more dangerous.

The false hope of being a safe alternative has led to use of multiple puffs of so called fractionated dose which ultimately ends up in almost similar if not more exposure over time. The availability in the form of flash drives and fancy pens has also made e-cig popular amongst the youth and even with school children. Resulting in more ruthless penetration of vaping.

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What is more alarming is the so-called gateway theory which says if less deleterious drugs are readily available, it may make way for more dangerous drugs later. Thus, e-cigs with known ill effects on the body be it cancerous or even non-cancerous chronic lung diseases, should not be promoted as a smart alternative to smoking. It has no potential benefits and it can never be a natural way towards a healthier or fitter life. (IANS)