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Mint-flavored vapes winning over teens

Data: Cullen, et. al, 2019, "e-Cigarette Use Among Youth in the United States, 2019"; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Juul's mint flavor has become the most popular e-cigarette flavor for teens in 12th and 10th grades and the second most popular in 8th grade, an NIH-funded study published in JAMA shows. A second JAMA study found that mint and menthol's popularity among all e-cigarette brands is also rising.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is expected to move forward this week with a ban on flavored vape products, except for tobacco and menthol flavors, and Juul has already said it will stop selling all flavors except tobacco, mint and menthol.

By the numbers: About 1.6 million high school and middle school students have used fruit-flavored e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. About 1.2 million use either menthol or mint flavors, one of the studies notes.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has been investigating Juul's advertising and marketing practices.

  • Reuters reported Tuesday that in 2015, Juul had disregarded early evidence it was enticing teens to use its product and ultimately become addicted. Its nicotine blend was so potent, engineers tried to create a fail safe with a lesser a dosage. The notion was delayed.

What to watch: Will teens switch to menthol- or tobacco-flavored vape pods, when that's all that's left?