FDA Orders R.J. Reynolds to Pull Cigarette Brands from the Market

ClearWay Minnesota comments on decision that will affect four new tobacco brands

Sep 15, 2015, 17:19 ET from ClearWay Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to remove four new cigarette brands from the market: Camel Bold Crush, Vantage Tech 13, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter and Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol. This is the first time the agency has ordered a major tobacco company to stop selling brands of its cigarettes.

The FDA was given regulatory oversight of cigarettes in 2009, including authority to require new brands to prove they do not expose smokers to more harmful chemicals, new ingredients or higher levels of menthol. In a statement today, the agency noted the four cigarette brands had different characteristics from existing ones, and said Reynolds had not shown there were no new public health concerns around the new products.

"We commend FDA for taking this action," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. "It is noteworthy that two of the affected brands are menthol-flavored, since menthol tobacco is known to have more addictive properties and the tobacco industry has marketed menthol products deliberately to African Americans, young people and other groups. Here in Minnesota, more than a quarter of adult smokers smoke menthols and nearly half of teen smokers do."

Camel is one of the three most popular cigarette brands among youth smokers, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Camel Bold Crush contains a capsule in the filter that releases menthol when crushed. R.J. Reynolds heavily marketed its Camel Crush cigarettes, including through ads in magazines with a large audience of young people.

Under today's orders from the FDA, all four cigarette brands pulled from the market can no longer be sold or distributed.

"We encourage FDA to continue using its authority to prevent the tobacco industry from engineering new, deadly products to addict the American people," said Willoughby.

Tobacco is still a problem in Minnesota, as 5,100 Minnesotans die each year from tobacco-related diseases and smoking costs Minnesota nearly $3 billion in excess health care costs each year.

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.


SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota