JUUL Labs, one of the nation's largest and most popular e-cigarette and vaping brands, issued a statement Wednesday in response to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's ban on flavored e-cigarette products.
Here is JUUL's statement:
"While we have not reviewed the full decision, we believe that strong and serious actions need to be taken around certain flavored products which is why we already stopped selling our non-tobacco/non-menthol based JUULpods to traditional retail stores, strongly support FDA's draft guidance and are aggressively fighting against counterfeit and compatible flavored products which can appeal to youth and can be made with unknown ingredients, under unknown quality and manufacturing standards. There is simply no place for kid-appealing flavors in the marketplace. That is why we would also support an outright ban on such flavors, including those that mimic kid-specific candies, foods, and drinks.
"As for menthol-based products, including mint, we believe that to encourage adult smokers to switch from combustible use, the number one cause of preventable death in the world, they should be available at retail alongside tobacco and menthol-based cigarettes. To restrict youth access even in these stores, we strongly advocate for Tobacco 21 laws and are working with retailers to implement the strictest age-verification point-of-sale standards ever imposed for an age-restricted product at retail, far exceeding those in place for other tobacco products or for alcohol. Under JUUL Labs' Retail Access Control Standards (RACS) program, a point-of-sale system at retail immediately locks when a JUUL product is scanned and remains locked until a retailer electronically scans a valid, of-age government-issued I.D. to verify both the age and the I.D. validity."
Gov. Whitmer's ban covers both retail and online sales and it will go into effect on Wednesday. It will last for six months and after those six months it can be renewed for another six months, according to the governor's office.
Whitmer told the Washington Post that Michigan's health department found youth vaping "constituted a public health emergency." She later went on MSNBC to talk about the ban.
"My chief medical officer this week said we have a public health crisis, it's time to take action. So I'm using my executive authority as governor to order the Department of Health and Human Services to ban the flavored e-cigarettes, to restrict advertising and the misleading advertising that they're engaged in, that it's 'healthy' or that it's 'good for you,'" Whitmer said Wednesday morning on MSNBC.