Local Charlotte News — In a historic move, the FDA approved the marketing of three specific electronic nicotine products on Tuesday.
It’s the first authorization of its kind for the agency, who says they also denied more than one million other marketing requests for e-cigarette products.
The FDA only approved the Vuse Solo device and accompanying tobacco-flavored pods, owned by the R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company.
This year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey revealed 10% of high schoolers who vape use the Vuse brand. The agency says their approval of only the tobacco flavor was a tactic to help adult smokers quit tobacco use, while avoiding hooking youths on nicotine. Kids are more likely to gravitate towards fruit, mint, and candy-flavored cartridges.
“We are encouraged by that aspect – that the FDA says we cannot market those types of substances,” says Atrium Health Pulmonologist Dr. Jaspal Singh.
The approval says the FDA feels marketing for the Vuse Solo device specifically is appropriate for “protecting public health.”
“It’s definitely a good alternative for smokers that use tobacco,” said Matthews Tobacco & Vape owner Hachem Alaoui. “They’re tobacco-free, and it’s a good alternative because they need the nicotine eventually.”
But some medical experts are worried people may take the approval the wrong way.
“Just because the FDA approved marketing does not mean they are safe,” said Dr. Singh. “In fact, we don’t know how safe they are.”
Dr. Singh says he was surprised the FDA went through with any marketing approvals, as there isn’t much data or research to indicate what kind of long-term impacts vaping can have on physical health.
FDA applications for electronic nicotine products were required to be submitted by Sept. 2020. They FDA says they have already taken action on 98% of those applications. Ten other Vuse products were denied marketing approval.