The nation’s leading e-cigarette maker says it has halted store sales of some flavors to deter use by kids.
The announcement Tuesday by Juul Labs Inc. comes ahead of an expected government crackdown on underage sales of e-cigs.
Juul said it has stopped filling store orders for its mango, fruit, creme and cucumber pods but not menthol and mint. It will sell all flavors through its website and limit sales to those 21 and older.
The company said it was closing its Facebook and Instagram accounts and pledged other steps to make it clear that it doesn’t want kids using Juul products.
E-cigarettes are generally considered a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned the nicotine in them is harmful to developing brains.
Erica Horner, director of the Mahoning County District Board of Health, said she has seen a big increase locally in teens who use e-cigarettes.
“It has surpassed cigarette smoking, traditional cigarette smoking. This is the number one tobacco product used by the youth at this point,” Horner said.
Horner said in Ohio, one in five high school students and one in eight middle school students have tried vaping products.
By law in Ohio, e-cigarettes are not to be sold to juveniles unless they are accompanied by a parent, but that doesn’t stop them from buying online.