Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FDA: No more candy flavored cigarettes

Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a letter to  the tobacco industry, manufacturers, and distributors. Specifically the letter states, 
"The FSPTCA provides FDA with regulatory authority over the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products. Specifically, section 907(a)(1)(A) of the Act, as amended by the FSPTCA, establishes a tobacco product standard special rule for cigarettes that states in part:
…a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.
This standard applies to all tobacco products that meet the definition of a “cigarette” in section 900(3) of the Act even if they are not labeled as “cigarettes” or are labeled as cigars or as some other product."
More below the break

In other words, any cigarette that is flavored with any of the above flavors will no longer be allowed. This means that Big Tobacco's marketing of fruit flavored tobacco products to our kids will be a thing of the past. 
As of Sept. 22, 2009, cigarettes that contain flavors other than tobacco or menthol are considered adulterated and illegal under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). The intention of this effort is to prevent youth and young people from ever starting a life of painful addiction. 

However, despite the best intentions of the FDA regulation of tobacco, one manufacturer is trying to circumvent the new regulations. According to a Wall Street Journal article the largest manufacturer of clove cigarettes will now make clove cigars. Cigarettes are defined as being wrapped in paper, these new cigars will be wrapped in tobacco leaves. Kretek International importers of Djarum brand clove cigarettes are certainly getting creative in ensuring their product still makes it to the shelves of retailers. Kretek International is clearly invested in maintaining their 97% market share of the nearly $140 million annual sales of cloves. The FDA has not determined what regulatory authority it will take over clove and other flavored cigar products. 

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