An American e-cigarette maker will continue selling mango, fruit, and cucumber flavoured pods in Canadian convenience and vape shops, despite no longer doing so south of the border because they might entice young people to use its products.
“The Canadian and U.S. markets are very different,” said an emailed statement from Juul Labs in response to a question about why the company seemingly sees a link between flavoured products and youth consumption in the States, but not Canada.
Health Canada, for example, implemented significant restrictions on flavours earlier this year, the company said, which take into account the need to prevent youth access.
The company did not specify what restrictions it was referencing. In May, a bill to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-smokers’ Health Act received royal assent. It prevents anyone from promoting a vaping product that leads people to believe it has a confectionery, dessert, cannabis, soft drink or energy drink flavour.
WATCH: Health group urges Ontario to keep vapes out of sight from minors
“We believe that these regulations are appropriate in the context of the Canadian market – but they are just one example of why we don’t believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to the Canadian and U.S. markets is appropriate.”
All of its flavours are compliant with Canadian regulations, it said.
The company declined to speak any further about why certain flavours would appeal to U.S. youth and not Canadian.
It has taken a strong stance against young people, or those who have not previously smoked cigarettes, using its products.
“We certainly don’t want youth using the product,” the California-based company said in a statement Tuesday when it announced it would stop selling mango, fruit, creme and cucumber flavoured pods to more than 90,000 retailers that sell its products in the U.S. It will continue to sell menthol and mint-flavoured pods.
The company launched flavours to help adult smokers shift from combustible cigarettes, but does not sell flavours “clearly targeted to kids” like gummy bear or cotton candy.
But, it is sensitive to concerns from U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb that flavours play an important role in driving youth appeal, Juul said.
It understands “that products that appeal to adults also may appeal to youth.”
It stopped accepting retail orders of those four flavoured pods from the U.S. retail stores that sell its product as of Tuesday morning. However, those flavours will be available on its website where buyers must prove they are 21 years or older.