San Francisco-based e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs announced Thursday that it is suspending the sale of non-tobacco, non-menthol-based flavored products in the U.S., pending a review by the Food and Drug Administration. Company CEO K.C. Crosthwaite announced that JUUL Labs is suspending the sale of the mango, creme, fruit and cucumber flavors.
JUUL Labs has recently come under the scrutiny of the FDA, which sent a warning letter to the company Sept. 9 alleging it was making advertising claims for its e-cigarettes without FDA authorization. Since then, JUUL has suspended all broadcast, print and digital advertising in the U.S.
It has also stopped its active support for Proposition C in San Francisco, which seeks to regulate rather than ban e-cigarettes in the city. In making Thursday’s announcement, Crosthwaite said in a statement:
“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 (for) adult smokers.”
The company continues to say that its products can be a good choice for adults who want to avoid combustible cigarettes. But recent reports by health officials in the U.S. allege that vaping has led to illnesses and even deaths.
As of last Friday, 18 vaping-related deaths had been reported in the U.S. Two of those were in California and neither was in the Bay Area. More than 100 illnesses related to e-cigarettes had been reported in the state and eight of those were in the Bay Area.
Company officials said that they are going to continue to develop scientific evidence supporting the use of flavored e-cigarettes because they believe the products can help adults who want to stop smoking regular cigarettes.
E-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive.