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BAT shares fall on Vuse flavour bans in US

October 16, 2023

The headquarters of British American Tobacco at Temple Place in central London. (File Photo: ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

Shares in British American Tobacco (BAT) fell more than 2 per cent on Friday, a day after the US health regulator banned sales of some flavours of its Vuse Alto vape brand.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) marketing denial orders for R.J. Reynolds, owned by BAT, include three menthol-flavored and three mixed berry-flavored e-cigarette products, with each flavor being offered in three nicotine strengths.

BAT said it would immediately challenge the decision and seek a stay of enforcement on the menthol ban.

Vuse is the most commonly sold e-cigarette brand in the US, with Vuse Alto being its most popular sub-brand. Its menthol flavour accounts for around 75 per cent of BAT’s US vape sales, according to an estimate by Jefferies, cited by Reuters.

Owen Bennett, analyst at Jefferies, added that BAT would likely be able to secure a temporary suspension of the order while it challenges the decision.

BAT shares are down more than 25 per cent this year.