After urging Altria to develop and market new smokefree nicotine products, I'm pleased the company has done so.
Attached is the VERVE Fact Sheet from Altria.
VERVE is a tobacco product (as defined in the FSPTCA) that is very similar to nicotine gums/lozenges marketed by drug companies for smoking cessation.
VERVE isn't a smokeless tobacco product (as defined in the FSPTCA), and as such, isn't subject to Chapter IX regulations (just like e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, shisha/hookah tobacco, nicotine skin cream, some dissolvables, etc.).
Also similar to e-cigarettes, VERVE isn't subject to federal tobacco taxes, nor to tobacco tax laws in nearly every state.
Although VERVE may prove very effective at helping smokers reduce cigarette consumption and/or quit smoking, Altria's introduction of this new unregulated tobacco product will likely prompt tobacco harm reduction opponents (CTFK, ACS, AHA, ALA, Legacy, Sens. Durbin, Lautenberg, Rosenthal, Brown, Merkley, etc.) to further pressure Obama appointed tobacco harm reduction opponents at DHHS and FDA (which falsely claim that all tobacco products are as hazardous as cigarettes) to quickly propose and approve "deeming" regulations that would apply Chapter IX regulations to all currently unregulated tobacco products.
Unless the FDA exempts various sections of Chapter IX, the sale of e-cigarettes and VERVE would be banned, internet sales of e-cigarettes would probably be banned, it would be a federal felony for any e-cigarette company to truthfully claim the e-cigarettes are less hazardous than cigarettes (and may ban truthful claims that e-cigarettes are "smokefree"), and more than 90% of e-cigarette companies would likely disappear.
We need to urge members of Congress (especially Republicans) to prevent the FDA from issuing a "deeming" regulation unless/until the agency first acknowledges that all smokefree tobacco products are far less hazardous than cigarettes. As long as the FDA falsely insists that all smokefree tobacco products are just as hazardous as cigarettes http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/R.../ucm255658.htm, the agency cannot be trusted to develop tobacco product regulations that protect consumer and public health.
Some news about VERVE
Altria to test market new nicotine product "Verve" in Virginia
The future of Big Tobacco: Tobacco-free products?
Altria tests smokeless product that contains no tobacco
Mike Siegel on Altria's new nicotine product