Response to FDA statement on preventing youth access to flavoured products
13 March 2019
This is the Group’s response to today’s ‘Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on advancing new policies aimed at preventing youth access to, and appeal of, flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars’.
A British American Tobacco spokesperson said:
“We welcome the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) shining a spotlight on the important issue of youth access to vapour products. We have always been clear that youth should not use vapour products and have had stringent measures in place to address this for some time.
“In relation to today’s announcement, we share the FDA’s concerns that some flavours, such as those resembling ‘kid-friendly’ food products, may play a role in increasing youth appeal and that marketing activities should not be directed to youth. We have never marketed such vapour flavours; we have supported measures to remove vapour products intended to mimic children’s food products or otherwise designed to target youth and have procedures in place to ensure our products are only marketed to adult tobacco consumers.
“We believe flavours are important in helping adult smokers migrate away from cigarettes, and the flavours we market are directed at helping adult smokers who are looking for a potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.
“We already have third-party age verification processes for online sales. We will work with our many convenience retailers to ensure that tobacco, mint and menthol, which are our top selling flavours, remain available for consumers who are looking for potentially less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. We also have plans to make our flavoured products available in other age restricted locations, including in specialist vape stores. As with all our retail partners, we will work with any new partners who stock our products to ensure they have appropriate age verification mechanisms.
“In respect of the proposals on bringing forward the PMTA date for flavoured products, given our years of product development and scientific assessment of our vapour products, we are well-positioned to file PMTAs for our VUSE products and plan to do so ahead of the 2021 deadline.
“We will continue working with the FDA as the agency moves this proposed compliance change forward over the coming weeks. We will be submitting comments for the FDA to review and consider as the agency works to finalise the guidance document.”
(Reference to Reynolds refers to the activities undertaken by one or more of companies that comprise the RAI Group of companies)