Court Grants Stay on R.J. Reynolds Vapor Products

Latest ruling affects Vuse Alto, Vibe, Solo Menthol Pods
Fifth appeals court building
Photograph: Shutterstock

An appeals court has granted a permanent stay of enforcement on the marketing denial order (MDO) the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued for Vuse Alto, Vibe and Solo Menthol Pods from R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans, granted a judicial stay of the MDO on Feb. 2, which allows R.J. Renolds Vapor Co. to continue to market and sell the products.

“The permanent stay follows the court’s most recent October 2023 emergency stay ruling in immediate response to the FDA’s announcement issuing an MDO for VUSE Alto menthol pods in varying nicotine strengths”  according to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).

The appeals court also ruled that the FDA’s motion to transfer the case to another circuit has been “denied,” according to court documents.

“We are pleased that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a stay of FDA’s marketing denial order for menthol flavored Vuse Alto e-cigarette products. This decision allows Reynolds to continue offering Vuse Alto Menthol e-cigarette products to adult nicotine consumers age 21-plus without interruption,” a company spokesperson of R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. told CSP. We believe appropriately regulated flavored vaping products—including menthol—are critical in supporting adult smokers who migrate from combustible cigarettes. We remain confident in the quality of Reynolds’ applications and believe there is ample evidence for FDA to determine that the marketing of these products is appropriate for the protection of public health.” 

In October, the FDA issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) to R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. for six flavored e-cigarette products under its Vuse Alto brand.

The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based tobacco company is an indirect subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT).

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