WASHINGTON—Antoine Blonde, president of Fontem US, Inc., marketer and seller of the blu e-cigarette brand, accepted an invitation to testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to discuss important issues regarding electronic nicotine delivery systems, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes. The hearing, titled “Vaping in America: E-Cigarette Manufacturers’ Impact on Public Health,” also included the testimony of executives from other major manufacturers of e-cigarettes sold in the United States.
Blonde thanked the chair, ranking member and other members of the subcommittee for holding the hearing, noting that Fontem has cooperated extensively with the committee’s investigation into e-cigarette products and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the company’s role as a responsible actor in the e-cigarette marketplace.
Blonde’s testimony focused on Fontem’s commitment to preventing youth access to e-cigarette products. He provided details on the company’s youth access prevention program to prevent the sale of its products to individuals under the age of 21 and efforts to ensure its products are marketed only to adult consumers.
“Fontem believes, without equivocation, that youth should not use any e-cigarette products,” Blonde said. “We share the subcommittee’s view that preventing youth access to e-cigarettes is an issue of critical importance. In this regard, Fontem does not, and has never, directed its marketing efforts for e-cigarettes to youth.”
Blonde also shared details of Fontem’s product stewardship program to ensure manufacturing and product quality for consumers. Notable Fontem product stewardship practices include rigorous risk assessments of ingredients and materials performed by registered toxicologists, device quality testing, manufacturing process controls, device and packaging authenticity controls and post-market stewardship to more fully understand blu products’ impact on consumers.
In response to reports last year linking respiratory illnesses and deaths to the use of vaping products, Blonde confirmed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not associated Fontem’s products in any of the incidences of respiratory illness investigated by the CDC. He reiterated that Fontem fully agrees with the CDC’s advice that consumers should not buy vaping products from an informal source, particularly those containing tetrahydrocannabinol.
Blonde’s testimony submitted for the record can be read in full here.
About Fontem US, Inc.
Designed for smokers, by smokers, blu has been a trusted leader of adult consumer satisfaction. blu products are available online and in stores across the U.S. market. The blu brand is owned by Fontem Ventures, a subsidiary of the Imperial Brands Group.