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Imperial Brands share price: Group developing locking technology for e-cigarette

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Imperial Brands (LON:IMB) is developing a locking technology for its myblu e-cigarette, the blue-chip group has said. The news came as the FTSE 100 company responded to the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) move to announce restrictions on flavoured tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes.

Imperial Brands’ share price has climbed higher in London in today’s session, having gained 1.36 percent to 2,639.00p as of 09:14 GMT. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.29 percent higher at 7,058.50points.

Imperial Brands responds to FDA move

The FDA announced sweeping new restrictions yesterday, aimed at preventing youth access to tobacco and vapour products. The new measures mean that only tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarette flavours can be sold at most traditional retail outlets such as convenience stores, with all other all other flavours to be sold in age-restricted, in-person locations and, if sold online, under heightened practices for age verification.

“I will not allow a generation of children to become addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the statement, noting that the regulator will also seek a ban on menthol in cigarettes and cigars.

Imperial Brands issued a statement following the FDA announcement, noting that it was developing a connected version of its myblu product with device locking technology.

“We believe that through our blu product range we offer adult smokers a significantly better alternative than combustible cigarettes and consistently reinforce this message, while at the same time working actively against youth access to, and usage of, our products,” the group said in the statement.

Analysts on FTSE 100 tobacco maker

Credit Suisse reiterated its ‘outperform’ rating on Imperial Brands this week, without specifying a price target on the shares, while Goldman Sachs, which rates the company as a ‘neutral,’ lifted its valuation on the stock from 2,760p to 3,115p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 3,217.33p.

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