The company conjointly aforesaid, for the primary time, that it might support federal legislation to lift the age to twenty-one for the acquisition of any tobacco and vaping product.
The Food and Drug Administration launched a campaign earlier this year against the manufacturers of e-cigarettes, together with the blockbuster start-up Juul, similarly as major tobacco firms, that were selling their products in ways that appealed to teenagers.
The agency issued warnings on Sept.
12 too many firms, giving them sixty days to prove they will keep their e-cigarette devices removed from minors.
It conjointly warned one,100 retailers to prevent merchandising the devices to minors.
In addition, the agency conducted a surprise examination of Juul’s headquarters in the port of entry, seizing boxes of documents associated with the company’s selling strategy.
In a letter to the F.D.A., Howard A.Willard III, chairman, and chief government of Altria cluster, aforesaid he was afraid at the epidemic levels of youth e-cigarette use, though he stopped wanting a speech that his company's products contributed to it.
“Although we tend to don't believe we have got a current issue with youth access to or use of our pod-based product, we tend to don't need to risk conducive to the problem,” Mr.Willard wrote.
He conjointly aforesaid that e-cigarettes stay a crucial variable for adults World Health Organization need to prevent smoking.
“The current state of affairs with youth use of the e-vapor product left ungoverned has the potential to undermine that chance,” Mr.Willard said.
Altria’s move may pressure alternative e-cigarette manufacturers, together with Juul, the dominant marketer of the devices, to withdraw some products.
Altria features a little slice of the market, while Juul, with its sleek device that appears sort of a flash drive, currently controls quite seventy p.c of the market, and is valued by investors at $16 billion, according to Nielsen data.
“I suppose Altria are happy to do to appear just like the someone and let Juul take the warmth,” aforesaid Desmond Jenson, a senior staff lawyer with the Public Health Law Center, based in Minnesota. “Juul selling well is actually to Altria’s benefit.
“There’s much proof that shows that e-cigarette use ends up inflammable fag use among youth, and this year flammable use by high school students is up for the primary time in 20 years,” he added.
“So if Juul is obtaining children hooked and that they find yourself change to Marlboro, Altria wins.”
Altria sells two types of vaping products through its Nu Mark subsidiary: the MarkTen and Green Smoke brand, which resemble traditional cigarettes, and the MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen, which area unit larger Associate in Nursing uses an e-liquid pod inserted into a cartridge.
In its earnings call Tuesday, Altria said that 20 percent of its MarkTen and Green Smoke products feature flavors other than menthol, tobacco, and mint.
It plans to prevent merchandising these flavors, which include Mardi Gras, Apple Cider, and Strawberry Brulee.
The company can still sell MarkTen and inexperienced Smoke in lotion, tobacco, and mint.
Altria has not given up fully on new flavors. In a note on the company’s website, Mr.Willard aforesaid he believes that flavors do facilitate adults switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes which the corporation would introduce new ones with F.D.A. permission.
“We believe that pod-based product considerably contributes to the increase in youth use of an e-vapor product,” Mr.Willard conceded in his letter to the F.D.A.The flavor-based pods are not a significant part of the company’s e-cigarette portfolio at this point.
The MarkTen Elite is sold-outinregardingtwenty-five,000 stores.
The Apex is sold online in 10 states. In a recent interview, the F.D.A. commissioner, Dr.
Scott Gottlieb, aforesaid that whereas e-cigarettes is also a preferred various to flammable tobacco cigarettes, they are not risk-free.
“Any time you inhale vape products, there is every reason to believe there are risks associated with it,” he said.
Dr. Gottlieb conjointly noted that he was revisiting the utilization of lotion in the bound product, which has been of particular concern in African-American communities targeted by makers of menthol cigarettes like Newport and Kools in years past.
“It was an error for the agency to pull in one's horns on lotion,” he said.
The F.D.A.is also moving on alternative fronts that threaten the industry.
In response to a legal ruling, the agency said last month it would speed up a release of new, graphic package warnings ordered years ago by Congress.
It is conjointly proposing to lower vasoconstrictor levels in cigarettes, rendering them nonaddictive.
Among Altria’s other concerns is F.D.A. approval of IQOS, the penlike electronic device developed by Philip Morris International, which the company says heats tobacco sticks but does not burn them.
Although Philip Morris has applied for approval, Altria would distribute the device within u. s...
A federal consultatory committee in Jan suggested that the F.D.A.reject a bid to permit the merchandise to be sold-out as safer than ancient cigarettes.
The agency has not nevertheless created a judicial decision on whether or not the merchandise is sold-out as a reduced hurt product, or at all.
Altria has conjointly recently stepped up its political donations. On Sept. 19, the tobacco company made its largest contribution of the year, $150,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a so-called Super Pac aimed at electing Republicans to the House ofRepresentatives, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending.
Last year, Altria gave the organization a complete of $82,930.
F.D.A. spokesman Michael Felberbaum said that the agency appreciated any voluntary steps that companies were taking to address youth access and appeal of e-cigarettes, and would be taking additional action shortly.
Becky Wexler, a spokesperson for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free children, wasn't affected by the tobacco company’s move.
“Altria’s announcement makes them look sensible, however, it'll have a touch sensible impact given their terribly little share of the pod e-cigarette market,” Ms. Wexler aforementioned.
“It isn't a substitute for obligatory F.D.A. rules that apply to any or all e-cigarette makers, as well as a ban on flavors that attract children and social control of the necessity for F.D.A. review before new merchandise proceed the market.”