Juul debating whether to challenge e-cigarette ban: report

Juul debating whether to challenge e-cigarette ban: report
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Juul Labs Inc. is reportedly debating whether to file a federal challenge to the Trump administration's plan to ban flavored e-cigarettes or whether instead to embrace the plan publicly.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the company's top officials are considering whether to throw Juul's support behind a federal ban on menthol and mint flavors, which are currently the only two flavors of e-cigarettes available in stores. Other flavors are purchasable online.

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The ban could affect a major chunk of Juul's sales in the U.S., as the Journal reports that only around 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales come from tobacco-flavored products.

Juul's popularity has exploded in recent months thanks in so small part to the availability of flavored nicotine cartridges.

The company's current plans are to apply for the reintroduction of four flavored nicotine products — classic tobacco, mint, menthol, and mango — next year when Food and Drug Administration rules requiring federal review of all products go into effect, according to the newspaper.

The Trump administration's proposed ban would also affect online sales, where Juul and other manufacturers continue to advertise flavors not available in storefronts such as mango that critics argue are marketed toward children and teens.

“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes to reverse the deeply concerning epidemic of youth e-cigarette use that is impacting children, families, schools and communities,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday. “We will not stand idly by as these products become an on-ramp to combustible cigarettes or nicotine addiction for a generation of youth.”

A request for comment from Juul Labs was not immediately returned.