Juul suspends sale of sweet flavors amid mysterious vaping deaths, criticism over teen use

PHOTO: Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York City, Dec. 20, 2018.PlaySeth Wenig/AP, FILE
WATCH 33 deaths linked to e-cigarettes and nearly 1,500 sickened: CDC

Juul is suspending sales of its sweet flavors, including mango, creme and cucumber, while the Food and Drug Administration reviews the products, the company announced Thursday.

Interested in Vaping?

Add Vaping as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Vaping news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

The company will continue to sell tobacco, menthol and mint flavors.

In a statement, Juul's new CEO, K.C. Crosthwaite, said that the company's products are intended for adult consumers.

"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 to adult smokers," the statement said.

PHOTO: Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York City, Dec. 20, 2018. Seth Wenig/AP, FILE
Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York City, Dec. 20, 2018.

Critics said the company should go further and discontinue its sale of flavored products altogether.

"Juul's announcement today that it is leaving mint and menthol flavors on the market shows that it hasn't changed one bit under its new leadership and isn't serious about preventing youth use," Matthew Myers, president, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement.

The company has come under fire while the FDA and Centers for Disease Control investigate an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths linked to vaping, which has sickened more than 1,479 Americans, according to the latest numbers, which the agency released Thursday.

In addition to the lung injuries, 33 people have died, with the victims ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old.

As part of its ongoing investigation, the agency is expanding laboratory testing to include blood, fluid and urine tests, as well as lung biopsies from patients.

Health officials last week started referring to the lung injuries by the acronym EVALI, which is short for "E-cigarettes or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury."

While the cause of vaping injuries hasn't been determined, and no single product has been linked to the lung injuries or deaths, the majority of people affected vaped products containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Nicotine has not been eliminated as a possible culprit in the outbreak, because some of those sickened reported using only nicotine devices.