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In a first, US FDA okays three e-cigarette products by British American Tobacco

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2021-10-13 15:19:43 BdST

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Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, US, August 29, 2020. REUTERS

The US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA on Tuesday authorised e-cigarette products for the first time ever, allowing their sale by a unit of British American Tobacco Plc, or, BAT in the United States.

It cleared the company's Vuse Solo e-cigarette and the accompanying cartridges to be used for refills.

However, the agency denied marketing authorisation for certain flavoured products submitted under unit RJ Reynolds Vapor Co's Vuse Solo brand for failing to demonstrate they would appropriately protect public health.

E-cigarettes vaporise a nicotine-laced liquid, and their use among teenagers has been soaring, with health regulators bearing down on manufacturers for marketing to youth.

In September, the FDA delayed its decision on whether Juul and other major manufacturers including BAT can sell their products in the United States, as it weighs the public health impact of the products.

Data from a 2021 survey indicated that an estimated 2.06 million US middle and high school students are using e-cigarettes, with Puff Bar, Vuse and Juul among the most popular brands.

Most users said they used flavoured products, with fruit, candy and desserts among the most common.

The agency said the survey data reinforces its decision to authorise the tobacco-flavoured products as they are not as popular among the youth.

"The manufacturer's data demonstrates its tobacco-flavoured 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," Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.

Juul and Vuse have only sold tobacco and menthol flavours in the United States for nearly two years.

The FDA on Tuesday also imposed strict digital, radio and television advertising restrictions on RJ Reynolds.

Juul did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.