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Altria to pull e-cigs that appeal to youth

26 Oct 2018. Altria Group has announced that it will remove its pod-based vaping devices from the market and the sale of several e-cigarette flavours in an effort to prevent underage use of these products, Wall Street Journal reported.

Altria announced these pre-emptive attempts in a letter to the FDA, according to the report. Howard A. Willard III, chairman and chief executive of Altria Group, said Altria’s moves to prevent underage use of vaping products was in response to the FDA’s letter from 12 September in which the agency addressed the issue of the widespread use of e-cigarettes among underage users in the United States.

In the letter, the company added that in addition to removing its pod-based e-cigarette products from the market, which are more popular among youth, it would only continue to sell its cig-a-like vaping devices in tobacco, menthol and mint flavour varieties, according to the report. The company said it would discontinue the sale of these products and other cig-a-like flavours until it receives a market order from the FDA or the youth issue is addressed.

In the letter, Willard said, “We believe e-vapour products present an important opportunity for adult smokers to switch from combustible cigarettes.

“Yet, the current situation with youth use of e-vapour products, left unchecked, has the potential to undermine that opportunity for adult smokers.” In addition to that, Willard said Altria would defend and promote federal laws that would require a minimum age of 21 to purchase all tobacco products as well as vaping products.

Altria stated that the decline in sales would not have a large impact on its business, Wall Street Journal reported. Altria’s vaping devices only make up a small share of the US e-cigarette market.

Shares of Altria rose 1.4 per cent on 25 October, according to the report.