E-cigarette manufacturers have achieved an important, but not unconditional, success in the United States.

The FDA has now officially approved such nicotine-containing vaporizers for marketing for the first time.

These are Vuse brand e-cigarettes produced by RJ Reynolds, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco.

Other products could follow, and other companies such as Juul have also applied for approval from the FDA.

Roland Lindner

Business correspondent in New York.

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The approval that has now been granted only applies to Vuse tobacco-flavored products.

Approval was denied for ten other variants.

The authorities did not reveal what exactly these are, but there are likely to be fruit-flavored e-cigarettes among them, as they are popular among young people.

An application for approval of a menthol flavored variant is still being examined.

FDA: "Significantly less toxic"

The FDA's inconsistent decision reflects the controversy that has raged over e-cigarettes over the past few years.

On the one hand, these products, which deliver nicotine to their users in the form of a vaporized liquid, have been seen as a vehicle to get smokers away from ordinary cigarettes.

They are considered to be less harmful to health because they do not contain tar or other substances classified as carcinogenic.

On the other hand, many young people also found a taste for e-cigarettes, which aroused concerns that the products would attract a whole new generation of nicotine consumers. In this age group, e-cigarettes with fruity flavors such as mango or melon became particularly popular. Manufacturers like Juul have also been accused of marketing their products too aggressively to young people.

The FDA said it had analyzed the Vuse products as "significantly less toxic" than traditional cigarettes and concluded that the potential benefit of smokers reducing or even giving up cigarette consumption in favor of Vuse is greater be considered the risk for teenagers. The authority also announced that it had only released tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes because they were "less attractive to young people". The approval is also associated with considerable restrictions on how RJ Reynolds can advertise its vaporizers.

The manufacturers of e-cigarettes have so far been able to sell many of their products in the USA without approval from the FDA.

Last year, however, the authorities asked them to submit applications so that their vaporizers could remain on the market.

The FDA has also banned fruit-flavored e-cigarettes, although some manufacturers have circumvented this.

Juul, one of the best-known manufacturers, has voluntarily withdrawn its fruity variants from the market and has now only applied for approval from the FDA for e-cigarettes with tobacco and menthol aroma.

Juul withdrew from Germany last year.

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