Faced with a proliferation of new electronic cigarettes and a sharp rise in teen vaping, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday sent letters to 21 electronic cigarette manufacturers seeking information to assess whether the products are being marketed illegally, Reuters reported.
An FDA rule banned the sale of new e-cigarette products after August 2016 without regulatory approval. In September, Reuters reported that startups and big tobacco firms launched more than a dozen new high-nicotine e-cigarette products mimicking the popular Juul devices after the FDA imposed the deadline.
The agency on Friday sent letters to companies including Reynolds American Inc, a unit of British American Tobacco Plc, which makes the Vuse Alto device, asking for evidence that the products were on the market before the August 2016 cutoff.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency “will not allow the proliferation of e-cigarettes” being sold without proper approval.
The agency also sent letters to Fontem Ventures, a unit of Imperial Brands Plc, seeking information about its myblu e-cigarettes, as well as smaller companies including Kandypens, Myle Vapor and VGOD. Shares of British American Tobacco on Friday were down 3.9 percent and Imperial Brands fell 6 percent in London.
A spokesman for British American Tobacco said the company will provide to the FDA information to show it is in compliance with the rule. He said the company notified the FDA in May that the product was a “repackaged and re-branded” version of a product that was on the market before August 2016.
A spokesman for Imperial Brands said the myblu products are in compliance with FDA rules, adding that the company will provide the requested documentation soon.