Bidi Vapor Distributor Enters International Agreement With PMI

Philip Morris International can sell Bidi Stick, other ENDS products abroad
Bidi Stick
Photograph courtesy of Bidi Vapor

GRANT, Fla. — Kaival Brands Innovations Group, the U.S. distributor of Bidi Vapor products, is partnering with Philip Morris Products S.A. (PMI S.A.)—a wholly owned affiliate of Philip Morris International Inc. (PMI), New York—to develop and distribute electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products abroad.

The companies entered an international licensing agreement on June 13, which grants PMI S.A. a license of certain intellectual property rights relating to Bidi Vapor’s ENDS device, the Bidi Stick, and potential new devices. The agreement allows PMI S.A. to manufacture, promote, sell and distribute the Bidi Stick and any new devices in international markets, promoting the companies’ joint vision of a smoke-free future, Kaival Brands said.

"We have previously mentioned our intention to broaden our current smoke-free product portfolio for adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes or use other nicotine products. This agreement supports that vision and is another step toward accelerating the delivery of a smoke-free future,” said PMI President of E-Vapor Ashok Rammohan. “We are excited to start our agreement with Kaival Brands—led by CEO Niraj Patel—who shares the same vision as we do, to accelerate the end of combustible cigarette smoking.”

The Bidi Stick offers legal-age nicotine users an alternative to cigarettes, Patel said. Bidi Vapor, Melbourne, Fla., submitted premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for its 11 flavor varieties of its Bidi Stick before the Sept. 9, 2020, deadline. The FDA later issued a marketing denial order (MDO) for the flavored Bidi Sticks, which the company fought with a lawsuit. An appeals court in February granted a judicial stay of the MDO, which allows Bidi Vapor and Kaival Brands to market and sell its Bidi Stick while the lawsuit against the FDA is ongoing.

"While Bidi Vapor continues to pursue the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket tobacco product authorization, cooperation with a major multi-national company like PMI, a leader in scientifically substantiated smoke-free products, opens doors on a global scale,” said Patel. “Kaival Brands looks forward to a long productive relationship with PMI, to accelerate the end of smoking."

While the agreement is a good business move for the company, finding a responsible partner to carry forward the values Bidi Vapor has created in the U.S. to international markets is what Patel said he’s most happy about. Kaival Brands, Grant, Fla., prioritizes the appropriate regulation and responsible commercialization, taking measures to ensure its products to not appeal to youth, he said. Bidi Vapor does not engage in direct online sales to consumers and requires age-verification contracts with its distributors and retailers.

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