TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store

Events by Charlotte Yu
TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store
Henry Sicignano, President of the U.S. electronic cigarette company Charlie's Holdings Inc., introduced the company's newly distributed product, the Spree Bar, during a pre-TPE forum.

On Jan 30 afternoon at the TPE Educational Sessions preceding the three-day exhibition, Henry Sicignano, the president of Charlie's Holdings Inc., delivered a keynote speech introducing their newly distributed product, Spree Bar, a disposable vaporization product with a capacity of 6000 puffs and a detachable, rechargeable battery, as well as nine flavors available. On Feb 1, the second day of the TPE trade show, 2FIRSTS had an exclusive interview with Henry on this novel product.


What sets Spree Bar apart is its active ingredient, a substance called Metatine, instead of Nicotine. Henry explained that Metatine is not the chemical name but a trademark of the substance, which is very much similar to " 6-methyl Nicotinamide".


TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store
Concept of Metatine introduced at the TPE Educational Sessions | Source: 2FIRSTS


6-methyl Nicotinamide is an intermediate product in the synthesis of nicotine, according to an industry insider. Henry stated that they chose Metatine over 6-methyl nicotinamide because Metatine better brings the flavors coming along the e-liquid, providing consumers with a “nicotine vaping” experience.


As Metatine was still not subject to the regulatory scope of the FDA, the company took a decisive step to launch Spree Bar in last October. According to Henry, the product has achieved impressive sales results in the US, and they are preparing for a new marketing step in 2024 which will encompass around 15,000 convenience stores and supermarkets nationwide.


Henry presented a promotion flyer highlighting the characteristics of three currently available PMTA-approved products – VUSE, JUUL, and NJOY: tobacco flavor only, subject to tobacco tax, and relatively high prices. Being a "completely non-nicotine product," Metatine is neither synthesized nicotine nor a tobacco extract, making it for now still exempted from PMTA regulations and tobacco tax.


TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store
Flyer highlighting differences between Spree Bar and other vape brands marketing in convenience stores | 2FIRSTS
TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store
Nine available flavors provided by Spree Bar| Source: Official Store


The product has been selling legally with various flavors at lower prices in "virtually all 50 states*," as Henry explained. He described Metatine as "a market worth over a billion dollars."


(*Editor’s note: Flavor restrictions set by some US states target "flavored vapor products" rather than "flavored nicotine products." Spree Bar, as a vapor product, can not be marketed freely under the former condition.)


2FIRSTS found that their cartridge-only product is priced at $9.95 for retail, while a starter kit containing the battery, cartridge, and charging cable would cost around $20.


Henry mentioned that Spree Bar's product didn't undergo vivo toxicological testing before launch. However, he asserted that Metatine's toxicity must be lower than that of “oral nicotine” given the similarity between Metatine and nicotine. Additionally, the packaging includes a warning against use by pregnant women and prohibits sales to consumers under 21.


TPE24 | Interview with Spree Bar: A “PMTA-exempt” Vape Product Targeting US Convenience Store
Stylish promotion image with an artistic portrait on it. | Source: Official Store


In terms of user experience, Henry stated that Spree Bar's product is "indistinguishable from nicotine e-cigarettes," facilitating the transition for e-cigarette consumers.


When asked if he's concerned about competitors introducing similar products to carve up their market share, Henry remains optimistic about Spree Bar's market prospects, believing that their over-a-year-long preparation before launch has likely secured a strong position in major Key Account channels before competitors could make similar moves.


Some Chinese e-liquid manufacturers are exploring this technology, while due to concerns about public opinion and regulatory risks, relevant products have not yet been introduced to the market, according to an insider.

This article is translated from an original Chinese article available on by AI, and has been reviewed and edited by 2FIRSTS's English editorial team. The Chinese original text is the only authoritative source of information. The exclusive copyright and license rights to this article are held by 2FIRSTS Technology Co., Ltd. Any reproduction, reprinting, or redistribution of this article, either in part or in full, requires express written permission from 2FIRSTS and must include clear attribution along with a link to this content. Non-compliance may result in legal action. 2FIRSTS Technology Co., Ltd. reserves the right to pursue legal actions in case of unauthorized use or distribution.