FDA’s Rejection of Flavored Vuse… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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FDA’s Rejection of Flavored Vuse Alto E-Cigarette Products, Including Menthol, Is Major Step to Protect Kids

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
October 12, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FDA announced today that it has issued marketing denial orders to R.J. Reynolds for six flavored e-cigarette products under its best-selling Vuse Alto brand, including three menthol-flavored and three berry-flavored products. This announcement is one of the strongest actions the FDA has taken to rid the market of illegal, flavored e-cigarettes and is a necessary step toward ending the youth e-cigarette crisis in the United States. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports the FDA’s science-based action today to protect the health of our nation’s kids and stop tobacco companies from addicting them with flavored e-cigarettes.

This action is critically important for several reasons. The 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) found that Vuse is the second most popular e-cigarette brand among youth, with 23.6% of youth e-cigarette users reporting current (past-month) use of Vuse. This decision also demonstrates the FDA’s continued recognition that flavors, including menthol, have driven youth e-cigarette use. According to the NYTS, 85% of youth e-cigarette users use flavored products, with 69.1% reporting using fruit-flavored products and 26.6% reporting using menthol-flavored products.

Youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health problem in the United States. The 2022 NYTS found that over 2.5 million U.S. kids still use e-cigarettes and 46% of high school e-cigarette users report frequent or daily use, powerful evidence that they are becoming addicted to the high-nicotine products now dominating the market. To end this crisis, the FDA must complete its review of e-cigarette marketing applications without further delay and deny applications for all flavored e-cigarettes, including all menthol-flavored products. In addition, the FDA should use all the enforcement tools at its disposal to clear the market of illegal and unauthorized e-cigarette products.