NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – E-cigarette maker Juul is taking steps to keep its products away from kids.
The company said Tuesday it’s pulling its flavored pods from more than 90,000 stores nationwide, including convenience stores and tobacco shops.READ MORE: Long Island Nonprofit That Builds Homes For The Disabled Gets Overwhelming Public Support After Power Tools Stolen
The flavored pods come in mango, cucumber, fruit and crème, and experts say they attract young users.
In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said teen vaping had reached epidemic levels and set a 60-day deadline for e-cigarette companies to address the problem. Later this week, the FDA is expected to propose a ban on most flavored e-cigarettes being sold in retail stores across the country.
Juul said the flavored pods will still be sold on its website. The company is adding additional age-verification measures to block sales to anyone under the age of 21.
Tobacco, menthol and mint flavored pods will still be available in stores.Lin-Manuel Miranda Addresses 'In The Heights' Movie Colorism Criticism
The company said it’s also shutting down its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
In a statement, Juul CEO Kevin Burns said the company and the FDA “share a common goal – preventing youth from initiating on nicotine.”
“We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use Juul products. We certainly don’t want youth using the product,” he said. “It is bad for public health, and it is bad for our mission,” the statement continued.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the Cuomo administration is also considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes in New York State. The state health department says youth vaping has more than doubled since 2014.
“As the governor previously said, he’s very concerned about the rise in youth e-cigarette use and this administration is looking to do everything it can to curb this emerging public health issue,” a spokesperson for the governor said Friday.MORE NEWS: Fireworks To Honor Essential Workers Tonight As New York Lifts Most COVID Restrictions
The New York State Vapor Association vowed to fight back, saying the ban would force most vape shops to close their doors or eliminate jobs, since flavored products make up more than 80 percent of their sales.