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Altria's (MO) Smoke-Free Growth Underway With Latest FDA Nod

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Altria Group, Inc. (MO - Free Report) is advancing Beyond Smoking by actively shifting millions of adult smokers toward potentially less harmful alternatives. Along these lines, the company announced that NJOY had obtained authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for menthol e-vapor products.

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Altria received marketing orders for NJOY ACE Pod Menthol 2.4%, NJOY ACE Pod Menthol 5%, NJOY DAILY Menthol 4.5% and NJOY DAILY Extra Menthol 6%. NJOY ACE continues to be the only pod-based e-vapor product authorized by the FDA. NJOY now holds the first FDA-authorized menthol e-vapor products to date.

During first-quarter 2024, NJOY expanded distribution to more than 80,000 stores and anticipates reaching approximately 100,000 stores by the end of the year. NJOY progressed with the introduction of its inaugural retail trade program aimed at enhancing retail visibility and securing optimal product placement.

With the inclusion of NJOY menthol e-vapor products, the company now stands uniquely equipped with an FDA-authorized portfolio to assist adult smokers in switching to smoke-free alternatives.

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What Else Should You Know?

Consumers are increasingly gravitating toward reduced-risk products (RRPs) or smoke-free alternatives, driven by the well-documented health risks associated with traditional cigarette smoking. In response to this evolving market dynamic, Altria adapted its strategy by introducing various oral tobacco, e-vapor and heated tobacco offerings. The company, through its subsidiary Helix Innovations, holds full global ownership of on!, a widely-embraced tobacco-derived nicotine (TDN) pouch product.

Net revenues in the Oral Tobacco Products segment moved up 3.7% to $651 million in first-quarter 2024, driven by enhanced pricing strategies and a reduction in promotional investments. During the quarter, reported shipment volumes of on! rose 32% year over year.

Management believes that tobacco harm reduction requires access to appealing smoke-free products and the recent FDA authorization of NJOY menthol e-vapor provides regulated alternatives amid the current market of illicit flavored disposables.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 13.4% year to date compared with the industry’s growth of 6.7%.

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