Health Groups Urge FDA Action on Top Vape Brands

    Photo: Dmytro

    Health groups are urging the U.S Food and Drug Administration to make haste in addressing the remaining premarket tobacco applications (PMTA) for leading e-cigarette brands such as Juul, Blu, Vuse (Alto) and NJOY, which make up 75 percent of the U.S. market and are among the most popular with youth.

    “We are grateful to see movement again by the FDA on the e-cigarette pre-market approval process under Dr. Califf’s leadership and the recognition of the risks these products pose to America’s youth while assessing the public health benefit for adult smokers,” wrote Robin Koval, president and CEO of the Truth Initiative, in a statement following the FDA’s authorization of Logic Technology Development’s tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes. Logic, however, makes up a small percentage of the U.S. e-cigarette market, with just over 1 percent according to retailer scanner data.

    The Truth Initiative also expressed concern about the FDA’s failure to deny marketing applications for Logic’s menthol e-cigarettes, which remain under review. “According to the latest NYTS data, nearly 30 percent of young people who use e-cigarettes reported using a menthol flavor,” wrote Koval. “As the FDA prepares to issue a proposed rule removing menthol cigarettes from the market, we continue to urge the FDA to remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol to protect our nation’s youth.”

    Meanwhile, tobacco harm reduction advocates, took the approval of Logic, which is ultimately owned by Japan Tobacco International, as further evidence that the PMTA process favors deep-pocketed tobacco multinationals.

    “It’s mildly gratifying to hear FDA say out loud the obvious and simple truth that vaping is helping Americans quit smoking,” Amanda Wheeler, president of the American Vapor Manufacturers Association told Filter. “But meanwhile in the bureaucratic shadows, they are strangling the life out of our entire innovative, entrepreneurial industry.”

    “The FDA should be thoroughly embarrassed that the only vaping products with PMTAs are ones that have been rejected by adult consumers,” Greg Conley, the president of the American Vaping Association, told Filter. “If JTI did not have cigarette sales to subsidize their minimal effort offerings in next-gen products, market forces would have caused them to stop selling these products years ago.”