KEY POINTS

  • Verve oral tobacco products are intended for adult tobacco users
  • The agency deemed the products "appropriate" for protecting public health
  • It's unclear if Verve will come back to the market following the FDA move

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the marketing of four oral tobacco products from Verve that were discontinued in 2019.

The permit covers Verve Discs Blue Mint, Verve Discs Green Mint, Verve Chews Blue Mint and Verve Chews Green Mint from U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, the FDA noted in a news release Tuesday. They have nicotine derived from tobacco but not from the "ground, powdered or leaf tobacco," the agency explained. Like gum, they are chewed and spit out once the user is done. The products are meant for adult tobacco users.

The agency said the products are "appropriate for the protection of public health" and that they're less likely to cause young people, non-smokers and former smokers to "initiate or reinitiate" tobacco usage.

"While these are mint flavored products, data submitted to the FDA show the risk for youth uptake of these particular products is low, and stringent marketing restrictions will help prevent youth exposure," the director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, said in the news release. "Importantly, evidence shows these products could help addicted smokers who use the most harmful combusted products completely switch to a product with potentially fewer harmful chemicals."

The oral tobacco products that received the marketing approval were discontinued in 2019. It remains unclear whether the FDA move would lead to the reinstatement of the products.

"We are pleased that FDA has determined that Verve oral nicotine products are appropriate for the protection of public health," the Altria Group, which includes the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, noted in a statement, CSP Daily News reported.

"While we discontinued selling Verve on Feb. 2, 2019, we applied learnings from this successful application to our On submissions, which remain under review by FDA. Oral nicotine products play an important role in our vision of moving beyond smoking and remain an important part of our portfolio of products to transition adult smokers away from cigarettes," it said.

The FDA move comes just about a week after giving its "first-of-its-kind" authorization for the marketing of specific R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company E-cigarette products.

However, the FDA move does not mean that the products are "safe or FDA Approved."

"(T) here are no safe tobacco products," the FDA noted.

If the agency finds the products "no longer appropriate for the protection of public health," it can still withdraw the order.

FDA Food and Drug The FDA's headquarters and home of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. Photo: Wikipedia