Nov 5, 2019

"Significant increase" in teens vaping menthol or mint flavored e-cigarettes

Juul flavors, mango, mint and fruit medley. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Middle school and high school students are vaping mint or menthol flavors almost as much as fruit-flavored e-cigarette products, a new investigation by JAMA shows.

Reality check: The Trump administration is expected to announce this week a finalized ban on almost all flavored vaping products, but it won't include tobacco and menthol flavors.

By the numbers: For those who self-reported using Juul products in 2019, mint was the most popular flavor in 12th and 10th grades and the second most popular in 8th grade.

  • 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 menthol or mint flavors.
  • About 830,000 use candy, dessert or other sweet–flavored e-cigarettes.

Background: A pulmonary lung disease from vaping has killed 39 people, including one teen, and more than 2,000 cases have been identified per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Still, much of the illnesses and deaths have been linked to black market sales and vape cartridges containing THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.

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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.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019

CDC confirms 2,807 hospital cases of lung injury linked to vaping

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

There are 2,807 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health

Juul halts sales of mint flavored e-cigarettes

The only flavors Juul will sell are menthol and tobacco flavors. The Food and Drug Administration has ordered e-cigarette product makers to devise a plan to keep their devices away from minors, declaring use by teens has reached an "epidemic proportion". Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Juul, the nation's largest maker of vaping products, announced Thursday it will freeze sales of its popular mint flavor, leaving only menthol and tobacco flavors available, amid looming Trump administration plans to ban all flavors of e-cigarettes, including mint.

Why it matters: Mint accounts for about 70% of Juul’s U.S. sales. Menthol only accounts for about 10%, while tobacco makes up roughly 20%, a person familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 7, 2019