REPORT: First Menthol Vapes, Altria’s NJOY Products Get FDA Approval

Wikimedia Commons/Public/Sarah Johnson from Irvine California, United States, CC BY 2.0

Jack Slemenda Contributor
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NJOY, an e-cigarette manufacturer under the Altria Group, was awarded US approval Friday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Four menthol-flavored NJOY products were approved by the FDA, two of them disposable and two others in NJOY’s ace model that use refillable pods, according to a press release.

NJOY displayed evidence to the FDA explaining that its menthol products helped facilitate adult cigarette smokers switching to vaping more than their approved tobacco-flavored products did, the press release reads. The vape maker also showed that this benefit to adult smokers exceeded the potential interest in the product from younger people, according to the agency.

Marketing restrictions have been placed on NJOY to attempt to prevent younger people from getting and being exposed to the products, the FDA writes.

This is a significant victory not only for Altria but for the rest of the vape manufacturers as well. In the past, the FDA has taken menthol-flavored vapes off of shelves, deciding that the products’ appeal to young people was greater than any health benefit for adult cigarette smokers, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). This is the first menthol-flavored e-cigarette to receive FDA approval, the outlet reported. (RELATED: FDA Revokes Ban On Juul E-Cigarettes)

The tobacco industry and public-health supporters have reportedly kept their eye on the FDA and its decisions on menthol vapes due to menthol products claiming a third of standard cigarette sales nationally.

The Altria Group has spent tens of billions of dollars in recent years as they try to move to other products as cigarette smoking in the US decreases, the outlet reported. The group reportedly dropped close to $13 billion on a portion of Juul in 2018 that then rapidly declined causing Altria to divest from Juul last year.

Since divesting, Altria purchased the now-number three vape maker, NJOY Holdings, for no less than $2.75 billion in 2023, according to the WSJ. Altria’s purchase reportedly sits behind Vuse and Juul in the vape market.

Vuse and Juul are still seeking FDA approval, the outlet reported. The maker of Vuse, Reynolds American, is reportedly fighting the agency in court after the vape maker’s products were denied. Juul’s menthol and tobacco-flavored products are still awaiting an FDA ruling, according to the outlet.