WASHINGTON —As the official public-comment period for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) draft guidance came to a close this month, the reactions to proposed policies that could restrict the sale of flavored vaping products and cigars at c-stores were mixed, seeming to both support the agency’s efforts while acknowledging the importance to retailers of that subsegment of products.
In the weeks following the March 13 issuance of the draft guidance, some tobacco makers, retailers and associations raised their voices.
Here’s a recap of a few of those responses…
Major tobacco, e-cig makers
Two of the nation’s largest tobacco makers, Altria Group, Richmond, Va., and British American Tobacco (BAT), London, both declared their support for the FDA and, at the same time, touted their own internal efforts at keeping young people from using their products.
Fontem Ventures, Charlotte, N.C., the maker of the blu-branded e-cigarette, also declared its commitment to keep its products from minors, but also said that smokers wanting to switch to an alternative nicotine-delivery method had the right to do so.
Two retailers, Alimentation Couche-Tard, Laval, Quebec, with its Circle K chain, and drugstore giant Walgreens, Deerfield, Ill., responded to the FDA after they were called out for allegedly selling tobacco products to undercover operatives. Both said they would respond to FDA concerns and support the agency's efforts to reduce youth use of and access to vaping products.
Trade groups chime in
Several trade groups distilled the vast amount of information that the FDA released and communicated their priorities to members, while at the same time letting the FDA know where they stood. The responses ranged from a recap of the FDA's main concerns to challenges to the methods the agency has employed.