MarkTen products will stop selling all flavors except for tobacco, menthol and mint. This includes all other flavored variants of both MarkTen and Green Smoke cigalike products. During NuMark, maker of MarkTen products, parent, Altria’s, third-quarter earnings call this morning, the company announced it would pull from market all of its pod-based vapor products, such as the MarkTen Elite and MarkTen Apex, until the problem of youth use is addressed.
This is in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) demand that four major tobacco companies and Juul manufacturer, Juul Labs, address the rising “epidemic” of youth vapor use.
A Q&A with Altria Chairman and CEO Howard Willard posted on the tobacco manufacturer’s website today stated the following:
Q: What have you announced?
Today, we announced actions we are taking to address what FDA has called an epidemic of underage use of e-vapor products. We are removing our pod-based products from the market and all flavored e-vapor products except for tobacco, menthol and mint. We are taking these actions until we receive FDA’s authorization to market the products or the youth issue is addressed.
We also announced our support for federal legislation to raise the minimum age to 21 – not just for e-vapor but for all tobacco products.
Q: Why are you removing your pod-based products?
Based on publicly-available information from FDA and others, we believe pod-based products significantly contribute to the rise in youth use of e-vapor products. We don’t believe our products are the issue, but we don’t want to risk contributing to the problem.
Q: Why are you supporting an increase in the minimum age to 21?
We believe now is the time. FDA is calling underage e-vapor use an epidemic. Today, the number one way kids get tobacco products is through social access, meaning the purchase of tobacco products by someone of legal age for use by minors. Raising the minimum age nationally to 21 should go a long way to solving that problem. Addressing the alarming rise in youth use of e-vapor is important if we want policy makers to more fully support the idea of giving adults greater access to and information about less harmful products.
Q: Why are you removing some flavors?
FDA has raised concerns about non-traditional flavors and how they are marketed. We strongly believe that flavors play an important role in helping to convert adult smokers from cigarettes to satisfying non-combustible products and intend to offer flavor options to adults through FDA’s authorization process or when the youth issue is addressed.