Juul is a bad company run by bad people. But, as a former smoker who used one of the company’s addictive mouth robots to get away from Marlboros, I feel compelled to pour one out for the only good thing Juul has ever done: cool mint.
For those not in the know, the nicotine-containing pods that Juul users vape come in a variety of flavors. The existence of those flavors has put a massive regulatory target on the company’s back, especially seeing as the company caught on—oftentimes with help from Juul advertising itself—with kids too young to legally purchase a vape. Staring down the barrel of harsh new FDA rules, the company announced Thursday that it has halted U.S. sales of its mint-flavored pods, aka the only good one.
I know this to be objectively true.
There are only eight flavors of Juul pod: two tobacco flavors (classic and Virginia), menthol, mint, creme brûlée, mango, fruit medley, and cucumber.
Previous reporting by the Washington Post noted that an earlier policy draft from the White House and FDA would ban “mint and menthol flavors, as well as sweet and fruity ones, and cut Juul sales by 80 percent, according to estimates.” Sure, axing six out of eight products in your line will do that. But today, an anonymous source speaking to CNBC claimed that “mint accounts for about 70% of Juul’s U.S. sales.”
Taking those numbers at face value, menthol, classic tobacco, and Virginia tobacco account for 30 percent of Juul sales, total. The 10-percent difference is split between four incredible shit flavors that I suspect only charted that high because they’re included in some starter packs. And now Juul, a company which is decidedly in the minty nicotine business and hemorrhaging staff, has popped a lid on its sales of addictive minty lung juice.
Is it, in some ways, an incredibly stupid distinction for regulators to allow menthol but not mint, a flavor meant to mimic a plant from which menthol is derived? Yeah, kind of! Though public sympathy might be hard to drum up when addicting kids and knowingly selling contaminated products is allegedly part of the business model.
So long, mint Juul pods. It’s a shame you were created and sold exclusively by a pack of mercenary turds.