CHICAGO– Tobacco manufacturers’ response to the latest round of actions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on flavors in electronic cigarettes prompted mostly affirmations of taking responsibility for the proper sale of age-restricted products, with at least one company saying it will “work proactively” with the agency on its efforts.
The FDA made several announcements Sept. 12 to punctuate its stance on keeping e-cigarettes away from minors, with a specific goal of removing e-liquid and closed-system flavors that may appeal to young people, such as those mimicking candy or desserts.
The largest action involved the agency issuing 1,300 warning letters or fines to retailers who allegedly sold tobacco products to undercover FDA operatives posing as minors. Other actions included communications with major tobacco makers and online retailers, requesting information on their products and how they keep youth from gaining access.
Here are statements from four manufacturers of vaping devices:
Altria Group Inc., Richmond, Va.
“We welcome the FDA’s action and look forward to sharing our thoughts about how to prevent and reduce youth use, an issue we have focused on for decades. We strongly believe kids shouldn’t use any tobacco products and take a number of steps to prevent kids from getting access to all tobacco products. For example, for participating retailers, our contracts require retailer training and signage, and that all sales must be done in a non-self-service fashion so retailers can check IDs.”
Fontem Ventures, Charlotte, N.C.
“Fontem Ventures strongly believes that e-vapor products like blu and myblu are to be used only by adult smokers. Minors should not use any tobacco or nicotine products, and we fully support and advocate for both legislation prohibiting sales of vaping products to minors and the ongoing FDA enforcement action against retailers selling e-vapor and other tobacco products to minors. We are evaluating [the FDA’s] request and statement from the FDA. On youth access, we have common aims. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate and work with the FDA to further strengthen our youth access prevention policies and procedures. We will continue to work with regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere to implement best practices in all our commercial activities.”
JT International USA, Teaneck, N.J.
“We have received a request for information from the FDA and will continue to work with the agency to show that Logic markets its products only to adults.”
Kevin Burns, CEO of Juul Labs, San Francisco
“Juul Labs will work proactively with the FDA in response to its request. We are committed to preventing underage use of our product, and we want to be part of the solution in keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of young people. Our mission is to improve the lives of adult smokers by providing them with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. Appropriate flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch. By working together, we believe we can help adult smokers while preventing access to minors, and we will continue to engage with the FDA to fulfill our mission.”