Lorillard Responds to FDA Advisory Committee Conclusions

Mar 18, 2011, 12:46 ET from Lorillard, Inc.

GREENSBORO, N.C., March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO), the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States, announced its response to the conclusions reached at today's meeting of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC).  

TPSAC is an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was charged with issuing a non-binding report and recommendations on the issue of menthol's impact on the public health by March 23, 2011.  In its meeting held today, TPSAC members concluded that the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the U.S., despite the fact that they found there was no difference in disease risk between smokers of menthol cigarettes and smokers of non-menthol cigarettes.  TPSAC did acknowledge that the potential for an illegal market in menthol cigarettes exists and therefore noted that should FDA choose to take some policy action that restricts the availability of menthol cigarettes, that the FDA consult with the appropriate experts and carry out relevant analysis in this area.

"While we fundamentally disagree, we are not surprised by what we believe is TPSAC's unsubstantiated conclusion relative to the impact of menthol cigarettes on public health," stated Murray S. Kessler, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lorillard.  "Most importantly, TPSAC's report is just the first step in what we believe will be a very long process that ultimately does not result in the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace, especially when contraband and other unintended consequences are seriously considered."

In today's meeting, Dr. Lawrence Deyton, Director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, stated that TPSAC's recommendation is simply advice and does not set FDA policy or action and that the FDA would conduct its own review.  The advisory committee recommendation is not binding and the FDA is not obligated to take any regulatory action whatsoever.  

The Company believes that as the FDA conducts their own assessment of menthol, they will follow a rigorous scientific evaluation that will come to the same conclusion as the Industry Report on Menthol.  The Industry Report clearly demonstrates that a menthol cigarette is no more dangerous than a non-menthol cigarette and should be regulated no differently and further, that the countervailing effects of any restriction in availability would overwhelm any potential public health benefit.  The Industry Report will be formally submitted to the FDA by their deadline of March 23, 2011.

About Lorillard, Inc.

Lorillard, Inc. (NYSE: LO) is the third largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the United States.  Founded in 1760, Lorillard is the oldest continuously operating tobacco company in the U.S.  Newport, Lorillard's flagship menthol-flavored premium cigarette brand, is the top selling menthol and second largest selling cigarette in the U.S. In addition to Newport, the Lorillard product line has four additional brand families marketed under the Kent, True, Maverick, and Old Gold brand names. These five brands include 43 different product offerings which vary in price, taste, flavor, length and packaging. Lorillard maintains its headquarters and manufactures all of its products in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Information describing factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements is available in Lorillard, Inc.'s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including but not limited to, our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.  These filings are available from the SEC over the Internet or in hard copy, and are available on our website at www.lorillard.com. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the time they are made, and we expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to update these statements to reflect any change in expectations or beliefs or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statement is based.

SOURCE Lorillard, Inc.