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Juul suspends sale of sweet flavors amid mysterious vaping deaths, criticism over teen use

Tomsmith585/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Juul is suspending sales of its fruit flavors, including mango, creme and cucumber, while the Food and Drug Administration reviews the products, the company announced Thursday.

In the meantime, the company will only sell tobacco, menthol and mint flavors.

In a statement, Juul's new CEO K.C. Crosthwaite said that the company's products are intended for adult customers.

"We must reset the vapor category by earning the trust of society and working cooperatively with regulators, policymakers, and stakeholders to combat underage use while providing an alternative to adult smokers," K.C. Crosthwaite, Juul's new CEO, said in a statement.

Critics disagreed with the company's decision to keep flavors other than tobacco available to the public.

"Juul's announcement today that it is leaving mint and menthol flavors on the market shows that it hasn't changed one bit under its new leadership and isn't serious about preventing youth use," Matthew Myers, president, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement.

The company has come under fire while the FDA and Centers for Disease Control investigate an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths linked to vaping, which has sickened more than 1,479 Americans. In addition to the injuries, 33 people have died.

As part of its ongoing investigation, the agency is expanding laboratory testing to include blood, fluid and urine tests, as well as lung biopsies from patients.

Health officials last week started referring to the lung injuries by the acronym EVALI, which is short for "E-cigarettes or Vaping product use Associated Lung Injury."

While the cause of vaping injuries hasn't been determined, and no single product has been linked to the lung injuries or deaths, the majority of people affected vaped products containing THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Nicotine has not been eliminated as a possible culprit in the outbreak, because some of those sickened reported using only nicotine devices.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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