The nation's leading e-cigarette maker is halting store sales of some flavors to deter use by kids, the AP reports. The move by Juul Labs Inc. comes ahead of an expected US government crackdown on underage sales of flavored e-cigarettes. Juul said it stopped filling store orders Tuesday for mango, fruit, creme, and cucumber pods and will resume sales only to retailers that scan IDs and take other steps to verify a buyer is at least 21. It said it will continue to sell menthol and mint at stores, and sell all flavors through its website; it is beefing up age checks to buy through the site, requiring the buyer to give the last four digits of their Social Security number or upload a government ID. The company also said it would close its Facebook and Instagram social media accounts, and pledged other steps to make it clear that it doesn't want kids using its e-cigarettes.
Its products are meant to help adult smokers quit regular cigarettes, CEO Kevin Burns said in a statement. "We don't want anyone who doesn't smoke, or already use nicotine, to use Juul products," Burns said. "We certainly don't want youth using the product. It is bad for public health and it is bad for our mission." E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that turn liquid often containing nicotine into an inhalable vapor. They're generally considered a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Some vaping products come in flavors with names like bubble gum and cotton candy, leading to criticism that the industry is marketing e-cigarettes to children. (Another e-cigarette maker recently stopped selling most of its flavored products.)