C-store retailers are paying attention to premarket tobacco applications (PMTA) and the products that are and aren’t allowed on the shelf, including vape. This occurs while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposes bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as well as extends regulatory authority over synthetic nicotine products.
This may make retailers questions the future of disposable vaping products of the synthetic nicotine category.
Recently, FDA issued marketing granted orders (MGO) to R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. for its Vuse Vibe and Vuse Ciro e-cigarette devices and their accompanying closed e-liquid pods. Additionally, marketing denial orders (MDO) were issued to other Vuse Vibe and Vuse Ciro e-cigarette products.
According to Greg Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a pro-vaping advocacy organization, the FDA has not issued any decisions on Juul products, which along with Vuse, is a market share leader.
Blu’s nicotine salt system was also removed from the market, a significant decision that impacts c-store retailers.
The best way for c-stores to respond is by paying attention to what customers tend to gravitate toward in the vape category and, if the approval of these products is questionable, determine comparable alternatives.
One of the first priorities is removing products from brands that you know will not be submitting PMTAs. Contact manufacturers to determine which products have been submitted for PMTA approval.
Subsequently, promote the category on the backbar with allowable options that you know your customers typically look for. Alternatively, consider increasing signage and promotional offerings for approved vape products that your customers may enjoy, but might not be as aware of.
Retailers should continue to keep an eye on the regulations influencing the vape category and think about how best to bolster the selection in the meantime.