Juul Labs has announced that retail sales of most of its flavored e-cigarette pods will be suspended for the foreseeable future. The mango, fruit, crème and cucumber Juul pods will be pulled from the shelves of retail stores contracted to sell the products. Juul said it would continue the retail sales of the mint, tobacco and menthol flavors for its devices.
The San Francisco-based company also announced the discontinuation of some of its social media promotions. Juul said it would shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts in the United States that promoted use of the flavored pods. The company will also restrict customers who purchase products on its website to two devices and 15 pod packages per month, with a limit of 10 devices per year.
Juul has been facing a very public backlash over its perceived role in the substantial increase in teenage vaping over the past few years. According to preliminary government data, more than three million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2017. Many of those students reported that the availability of flavored pods influenced their decision to vape.
Juul is the manufacturer of the best-selling e-cigarette on the market, holding more than 70 percent of the e-cigarette market share in the United States. Its sleek device resembles a flash drive, making it easy for minors to conceal it from unwitting parents. Some states are now investigating whether the company’s marketing strategies were directly aimed at minors. The US Food and Drug Administration seized documents related to marketing tactics from the company’s headquarters last month.
Juul is planning to resume sales of all of its products in the near future after some new restrictions have been put into place. For example, retail outlets that chose to invest in certain types of age-verification technology would have their sales of the pulled products renewed. A timetable for resuming those sales has not yet been announced.