The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said it was banning the sale of Reynolds American Vuse Alto menthol e-cigarettes, saying the risk to kids outweighs any benefit to adult smokers.
The FDA said its ban includes three menthol-flavored and three mixed berry-flavored products, each offered in three different nicotine strengths. The agency is continuing to weigh whether to let the company’s tobacco flavors stay on the market.
Reynolds, the maker of Camel and Newport cigarettes, has made the case that the vape pens help adults kick the smoking habit by switching to products less damaging to their health.
Reynolds’ parent company, British American Tobacco, or BAT, said it would challenge the FDA’s decision in court.
“We believe appropriately regulated flavored vaping products — including menthol — are critical in supporting adult smokers migrate from combustible cigarettes,” Kingsley Wheaton, BAT’s chief strategy and growth officer, said in a news release.
On the market for multiple years, the vape pens have become increasingly popular among children and teenagers. Nearly 13% of middle- and high-school students who have vaped in the past 30 days named Vuse as their preferred brand, coming in second after Puff Bar, according to the results of a federal survey published in 2022.
The FDA last year ordered Juul Labs to stop selling its vaping products, but the ban was put on hold while Juul appealed, with that challenge ongoing.
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