Tobacco Industry News


RJ Reynolds' ads urge tobacco pouches for smokers
Tobacco company R.J. Reynolds has launched a new advertising campaign suggesting that people who wish to quit smoking cigarettes try the company’s Camel snus tobacco pouches. The advertisements are being criticized by anti-tobacco groups, who say that the ads are intended to keep consumers addicted to tobacco, not to help them quit using it. By law, companies cannot claim that tobacco products can be used as cessation products; this campaign is being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if any false claims were made about tobacco cessation. A spokesman from R.J. Reynolds has said that the ads are designed only to notify tobacco users who wish to quit smoking that the product may be an acceptable alternative. Click here to read more.

Virginia tobacco maker seeks new FDA designation
Star Scientific, Inc. has announced its plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to sell a new tobacco product with a “modified risk” label. The company says that its new product, Stonewall Moist-BDL, contains 90 to 99 percent less tobacco-specific carcinogens than other moist smokeless tobacco products, therefore exposing its users to a smaller amount of cancer-causing agents. Proponents of modified risk products believe that less-harmful alternative products can improve public health by reducing smoking prevalence, while opponents say there is no safe way to use tobacco. The FDA is considering two other similar applications from Star Scientific regarding dissolvable tobacco products; the FDA’s decisions will determine what avenues other tobacco companies may take in the future to make up lost revenue from declining cigarette sales. Read more here.

Lorillard fights to snuff menthol ban
Lorillard Inc., the company that makes leading menthol brand Newport, has begun taking action to prevent the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from banning menthol cigarettes. In addition to launching their website least year, the company has started Twitter and Facebook pages to explain its position on menthol and problems that could occur if the use of menthol in cigarettes was banned. The company also purchased about fifty internet domain names associated with menthol (e.g. “BanMenthol,” “MentholKills”) in an effort to keep others from promoting a ban using “outrageous claims,” and has paid outside groups to circulate their press releases on news distribution outlets. Some anti-tobacco groups are pushing for a complete ban on menthol cigarettes, saying they are more addictive than regular cigarettes and that they are especially attractive to minorities and adolescents. The FDA’s special tobacco advisory committee is reviewing data regarding menthol products and will make a recommendation regarding whether to ban menthols in March. Click here for more information.


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