Juul has ceased selling most of its e-cigarette flavors in retail stores and has deleted its social media accounts to placate government concerns over a rise in teenage vaping.
Other e-cigarette companies have previously announced similar actions. Juul commands about 70 percent of the market share, according to Nielsen data.
E-cigarettes began as a way to help people quit smoking, but their popularity among teens has now led to fears of nonsmoking adolescents becoming nicotine-addicted.
Juul is known for e-cigarette devices that resemble a USB flash drive. Flavors ranging from crème brûlée to cucumber are advertised heavily on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Critics have said the surge in Juul's popularity could lead to harmful effects in teen health.
In the past year, 13 percent of 8th graders, 24 percent of 10th graders, and nearly 28 percent of 12th graders at U.S. schools reported using a vaping device. According to The New York Times, studies suggest that vaping can lead to addiction and might even cause teenage vapers to begin smoking cigarettes.
However, a large percentage of teen vapers are uninformed about the harmful effects of using e-cigarettes. An NIH survey found 66 percent of teenage vapers believed their e-cigarettes contained just flavoring.
Juul has recently been under intense scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration, which conducted a surprise inspection of Juul’s corporate headquarters in October and seized thousands of documents relating to its sales and marketing practices.
Before Juul's announcement that it was restricting its practices, the New York Times reported the FDA had been planning similar measures.
However, Juul will continue to sell the flavors of tobacco, mint, and menthol in stores, which it claims are essential in preventing ex-smokers from relapsing back to cigarettes.
The other flavors continue to be available on Juul's online store, where the company claims it uses age-verification and quantity-limitation techniques to combat the teenage vaping issue. Juul also announced that it will renew sales of flavored e-cigarettes in stores that begin to use age verification techniques in the future.