FDA approves marketing of new tobacco products, raising concerns by some
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the marketing of three new tobacco products Tuesday.
The Vuse products manufactured by RJ Reynolds are the first e-cigarettes authorized for sale by the FDA.
The FDA says the vaping brand helps smokers quit cigarettes, but the claim has anti-smoking advocates concerned.
The head of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products says, “The manufacturer’s data demonstrates its tobacco-flavored products could benefit addicted adult smokers who switch to these products – either completely or with a significant reduction in cigarette consumption – by reducing their exposure to harmful chemicals.”
The FDA’s action allows those specific products to be sold in the United States, but it does not mean they are FDA-approved.
President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Matthew Myers, however, says the brand is already popular with a younger crowd.
“This particular project has three times the nicotine level that legally allowed in Canada and the United Kingdom, so the risk here is that those kids who do experiment are far more likely to become addicted,” Myers says.
Ten other flavored products were not granted authorization, making the move by the FDA controversial.
Matt Flax, owner of a vape shop on Long Island, says it’s not fair that the FDA did not authorize the sale of any fruit or candy flavored e-cigarettes.
“Adults like flavors,” Flax says. “It’s a simple thing when you’re giving somebody the opportunity to help themselves to wean off a product that’s bad for them.”
Others like American Cancer Society president-elect Pat Bishop are worried about the effect it could have on younger people.
“If there is an implicit approval of these products for adults, it’s not a stretch of the imagination that kids will soon follow,” Bishop says.
There are still restrictions on digital, radio and television advertising for the products.