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Analysis of FDA’s Vuse market authorisation: limitations and opportunities

Abstract

This special communication provides a physicians’ critique of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s decision to authorise the Vuse Solo (Vuse) Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA). The PMTA authorisation represents the first time that FDA has authorised an Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) for marketing in the USA. Using the FDA Decision Summary, the special communication identifies significant unanswered public health and scientific questions that prevent the authors from reaching FDA’s conclusion that Vuse meets the Appropriate for the Protection of the Public Health (APPH) standard. The authors recommend FDA suspend the market authorisation and use these questions to re-evaluate the PMTA, and to prospectively monitor whether Vuse meets APPH standard. The special communication advances the ENDS harm reduction conversation because it calls for national tobacco regulators to develop an epidemiological prediction of ENDS impact on the population and to expand the scope of their analysis to evaluate the impacts of ENDS on congenital birth defects, abuse liability and non-flavour drivers of youth usage. Through learning from the American experience regulating Vuse, national tobacco regulators around the globe will be better equipped to evaluate the impact of ENDS on the public health.

  • addiction
  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • harm reduction
  • public policy

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