Tobacco giant 'welcomes' US flavoured vape ban

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
The US announced a countrywide ban on all flavoured vapes on Thursday. Photo: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies has said it “welcomes” the US decision to ban all flavoured vaping products.

The US announced a countrywide ban on all flavoured vapes on Thursday. The ban follows concerns about the number of teens and young adults in the US who are taking up vaping. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said there were “epidemic levels of youth use.”

READ MORE: Teenager who had a double lung transplant after vaping was just ‘days’ from death

British American Tobacco (BATS.L) on Friday said it “welcomes the US FDA’s guidance”. British American Tobacco (BAT) makes cigarettes under brands such as Dunhill, Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Benson & Hedges, and Rothmans. It also offers a vaping product under the brands Vype and Vuse in the US.

BAT chief executive Jack Bowles said in a statement: "Yesterday's announcement takes us a step closer to a predictable regulatory environment in a key marketplace, but focus must now shift to enforcement to ensure vapour market regulations are effective.

READ MORE: Vaping firm Juul reassures customers as lung disease fears grow

"We have long said it is not the marketing of these products per se that is the concern, it is the irresponsible marketing of them that should be robustly addressed.”

Shares in BAT rose 1% in London following the statement.

US Health Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday the ban would “strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth.”

READ MORE: Flavoured e-cigarettes may trigger cancer by damaging lung tissue

Juul, the biggest vaping brand in the US, has already pulled all its flavoured pods after pressure from politicians.

Bowles said BAT would “continue to work with the U.S. FDA throughout the implementation of this new regulatory framework.”