THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Juul, which makes the top-selling brand of electronic cigarettes in the United States, said Thursday it will no longer sell fruit or dessert flavors of its products. The company's decision comes as it faces widespread criticism that its flavored nicotine products are hooking a generation of teenagers on nicotine and vaping, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The company faces multiple investigations by Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and several state attorneys general. Juul is also being sued by adults and underage vapers who allege they became addicted to nicotine by using Juul's products, the wire service said.
The flavors dropped by Juul will be mango, creme, fruit, and cucumber, which account for 10 percent of its sales. The company will continue to sell its most popular flavors: mint and menthol, the AP reported. Juul's decision to continue selling mint and menthol shows "it isn't serious about preventing youth use," Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement. "Juul knows that 64 percent of high school e-cigarette users now use mint or menthol flavors, and this number is growing all the time."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that the number of severe lung illnesses continues to climb: There are now 1,479 cases reported in 49 states. Seventy-eight percent of those cases involved products that contained tetrahydrocannabinol. Seventy percent of the patients were male, and 79 percent were younger than 35 years old. The death toll also went up, hitting 33 deaths in 24 states. The median age of patients who have died is 44 years.