FDA Authorizes Product Not on the Market Since 2019

    Photo: Altria Group

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the marketing of four oral tobacco products that are no longer on the market—Verve Discs Blue Mint, Verve Discs Green Mint, Verve Chews Blue Mint, and Verve Chews Green Mint, manufactured by Altria subsidiary U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.

    “We are pleased that FDA has determined that Verve oral nicotine products are appropriate for the protection of public health,” said an Altria spokesman. “While we discontinued selling Verve on Feb. 2, 2019, we applied learnings from this successful application to our on! submissions, which remain under review by FDA. Oral nicotine products play an important role in our vision of moving beyond smoking and remain an important part of our portfolio of products to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes.”

    In a press release dated Dec. 17, 2018, Altria said it would stop the production and distribution of Verve oral nicotine products based upon the expected financial performance of these products and the regulatory restrictions that burdened the company’s ability to quickly improve these products. “We do not see a path to leadership with these particular products and believe that now is the time to refocus our resources,” wrote Chairman and CEO Howard Willard at the time.

    It its Oct. 19, 2021, marketing order, the FDA said it had determined the marketing of Verve products would be consistent with the statutory standard, “appropriate for the protection of the public health.” This includes a review of data showing that youth, nonsmokers and former smokers are unlikely to initiate or reinitiate tobacco use with these products.

    “Ensuring new tobacco products undergo a robust premarket evaluation by the FDA is a critical part of our mission to protect the public—especially kids,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, in a statement.

    “While these are mint flavored products, data submitted to the FDA show the risk for youth uptake of these particular products is low, and stringent marketing restrictions will help prevent youth exposure. Importantly, evidence shows these products could help addicted smokers who use the most harmful combusted products completely switch to a product with potentially fewer harmful chemicals.”