NEW YORK — The nation’s leading e-cigarette maker says it has halted store sales of its flavored products to deter use by kids.
The announcement Tuesday by Juul Labs Inc. comes ahead of an expected government crackdown on underage sales of flavored 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.
“Our intent was never to have youth use Juul,” said Kevin Burns, chief executive of Juul Labs in a statement quoted by the New York Times. “But intent is not enough. The numbers are what matter and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarettes is a problem.”
CNBC reported that Juul intends to resume sales through retailers that adopt the company’s new age restrictions and verification system.
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.