October 25, 2018
Altria and Nu Mark Respond to FDA About Youth and E-Cigarettes
As reported previously in the NATO News Bulletin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an announcement on September 12, 2018 regarding a series of actions to be taken relating to underage youth access to and use of e-cigarette products. In conjunction with that announcement, the FDA sent letters to the manufacturers of five national e-cigarette brands (including MarkTen) asking each company to submit to the agency within 60 days a plan on how the company will address youth access and use of their respective e-cigarette products.
Today, Altria Group, Inc., and its subsidiary Nu Mark LLC, responded to the agency’s request and submitted a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb outlining actions that the companies will take regarding youth access and use of their e-vapor products (a copy of the letter accompanies this bulletin). In the letter, the companies explain that they will take the following actions:
1. Stop selling MarkTen Elite and Apex by MarkTen pod-based (i.e. closed cartridge) products until the FDA issues a market order allowing the products to be sold or the underage youth access and use issues are addressed.
2. Sell only tobacco, menthol and mint flavored varieties of the remaining MarkTen and Green Smoke cig-a-like products. The sale of all other flavors of these cig-a-like products will be discontinued until the FDA issues a market order allowing the products to be sold or the underage youth access and use issues are addressed.
3. Support federal legislation to establish 21 as the minimum age to purchase any tobacco product.
The letter provides further explanation for the actions that are being implemented. In addition, a Question and Answer session with Altria Group, Inc. CEO Howard Willard III is posted on the company’s website and can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
Also attached are memos issued today by Altria Group Distribution Company to “Direct Customers” (wholesalers) and “Retailers” with further information about which product SKUs are impacted and which are not, the fulfillment of orders for the impacted Nu Mark SKUs, and the acceptance of returns for the impacted Nu Mark SKUs.