Chatting with reporters on the White Home garden, Mr. Azar stated that eradicating taste pods from shops simply prompted youths to shift from fruit flavors to menthol and mint, which have been nonetheless obtainable, slightly than to cease vaping altogether.
“What we’ve seen has been, and it could be linked, an enormous spiking of youngsters’s utilization of mint and menthol e-cigarettes, which stay, by all producers, obtainable in retail shops,” Mr. Azar stated.
The difficulty appeared to hit residence on the White Home, the place Melania Trump attended the assembly with Mr. Azar, Dr. Ned Sharpless, the performing F.D.A. commissioner and the president. “She’s obtained a son,” Mr. Trump stated of their teenage baby, Barron. “She feels very strongly about it,” he stated.
Juul has repeatedly denied that it aimed its merchandise at minors, however its smooth gadgets have turn out to be an increasing number of widespread and are simple to hide. And though the corporate’s array of flavors had disappeared from cabinets, they have been nonetheless obtainable on-line, and a bunch of opponents sprouted up with lookalike variations and related flavors to fill the vacuum. Juul had stated that just about 85 p.c of its gross sales have been from mint and different flavors, and that its determination to cease delivery them to shops had dented their gross sales.
On Monday, the F.D.A. took motion in opposition to Juul, sending a warning letter accusing the corporate of violating federal laws by selling its vaping merchandise as a more healthy possibility than cigarettes.
As for the company’s determination to ban most flavors, Ted Kwong, a Juul spokesman, stated the corporate would comply. “We strongly agree with the necessity for aggressive category-wide motion on flavored merchandise,” he stated.
Public well being teams have lengthy clamored for strict curbs on e-cigarettes and flavors, particularly as a result of they nervous that the hovering use amongst youths was hooking a brand new era on nicotine after many years of a decline in smoking charges.