Press Releases

Imperial Brands Response To FDA Youth Access Prevention Statement


Amsterdam. November 16, 2018—The parent company of Fontem Ventures B.V., Imperial Brands, issued this response to an FDA statement on preventing youth access to e-vapour and tobacco products in the US.

This followed FDA consultation with Fontem Ventures and four other e-vapour manufacturers on the subject of youth access prevention in the US and the submission of written proposals by each manufacturer.

Fontem US Letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb – November 9th
Fontem US highlighted its work on child safety technologies, such as a blu e-vapour device-locking that could prevent vapour devices from being used by minors, and limit the ability of youth to use illicitly obtained products. The company stated that this technology will be ready for market testing in the first quarter of 2019. Subject to such testing, more child-safe “connected devices” could be available in international jurisdictions thereafter. Fontem called upon the FDA to consider an express approval process for adding child safety technologies to products already on the market to ensure that US consumers also benefit from these innovations.

Fontem’s other industry-leading commitments include pledges to review flavour names and packaging to minimize attraction to youth; raise, nationwide, the minimum age of online sales to 21 and require age verification technology of all online retail partners; institute a company-funded hotline where consumers can report underage sales of blu products; terminate immediately contracts with retailers found to sell to minors; and appoint a youth access prevention officer to closely monitor violations across all media.

In addition to detailing specific action commitments, the company also proposed a number of policy recommendations as the FDA considers future industry regulation and best practices, including:

– Mandating all manufacturers to carry zero nicotine liquid options in their range.
– Employing stricter packaging guidelines requiring factual names, flavour descriptors and adult presentation.
– Adopting higher product quality standards for e-liquids.
– Requiring the removal of certain ingredients from vapour liquids, including sugars.
– Providing for an accelerated authorization process for faster market introduction of product innovation designed to enable youth protection.
– Mandating all online retailers to utilize independent, third-party age-verification systems

Press Contact
James Campbell
Senior Communications Manager
Fontem Ventures BV
+31 61 442 6896

About Us
Fontem US is affiliated with Fontem Ventures BV, the e-vapor business behind blu® e-vapor products.  Headquartered in Amsterdam, Fontem Ventures’ purpose is to drive electronic vaping technology forward, delivering a better alternative to smokers and vapers around the world. Fontem Ventures is a subsidiary of Imperial Brands plc. Fontem Ventures markets electronic vapor liquids that range in strength from zero to 4.6 percent nicotine.

blu was founded in the USA in 2009 and is one of the original e-cigarette brands. It was acquired by Fontem Ventures in 2015. As one of the world’s most recognizable vape brands, blu offers adult smokers’ choice through high-quality e-vapour products and e-liquids.

Nerudia was established in 2013 and became part of Imperial Brands in 2017. It is the home of innovation and technology R&D for Next Generation Products (NGP) which includes e-vapour, heated tobacco and oral nicotine delivery. Nerudia is dedicated to creating a world where smokers have choice.

Fontem Ventures is a subsidiary of Imperial Brands PLC, a global consumer organisation and the fourth largest international tobacco company in the world, operating across 120 markets.

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