FDA approves menthol E-cigarettes from Njoy, backed by Altriato aid adult smokers

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the first menthol-flavored electronic cigarettes for adult smokers, acknowledging that vaping flavors can reduce the harms of traditional tobacco smoking. The FDA said it authorized four menthol e-cigarettes from Njoy, the vaping brand recently acquired by tobacco giant Altria, which also sells Marlboro cigarettes.

The decision supports vaping companies’ claim that their products can reduce smoking, which causes 480,000 US deaths annually due to cancer, lung, and heart disease. E-cigarettes have been sold in the US since 2007, but their benefits have been overshadowed by their use by adolescents and teens. Parent groups and anti-tobacco advocates immediately criticized the decision, which comes after years of pushing regulators to keep menthol and other flavors that can appeal to teens off the market. “This decision could mean we’ll never be able to close the Pandora’s box of the youth vaping epidemic,” said Meredith Berkman, co-founder of Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes.

Njoy, one of only three companies to receive FDA approval for vaping products, offers two menthol varieties as cartridges that heat liquid nicotine into an inhalable aerosol. The other two are disposable e-cigarettes. Njoy’s products accounted for less than 3% of U.S. e-cigarette sales in the past year, with Vuse and Juul controlling 60% of the market, and disposable brands accounting for the rest.

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