Lorillard is appealing to people to write to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in support of the legal sale of menthol cigarettes.
In a press note, the company said the FDA was seeking information to help it determine whether or how to regulate menthol in cigarettes beyond the existing regulations that applied to all cigarettes.
“Lorillard believes that the best available scientific evidence does not show that menthol cigarettes are more harmful than non-menthol cigarettes and that Americans have a right to make a personal choice to use any legal product,” the company said.
“If [the] FDA imposed a ban or any severe regulations affecting menthol cigarettes, it would impact 30 percent of the U.S. cigarette market with serious unintended consequences.
“Many thousands of working Americans rely on menthol sales for their jobs, including those who manufacture them. Overall, nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs depend in whole or in part on the sale of menthol through existing legal channels.
“A ban on menthol in cigarettes risks giving rise to an entire industry of unregulated cigarettes sold illegally on the underground market and worsening the already widespread illicit sale of cigarettes.
“Criminal activity resulting from the illicit sale of cigarettes will add even more burdens to already constrained law enforcement efforts.
“Illicit markets carry public health costs by:
* Undermining laws to prevent sales of cigarettes to minors since cigarettes will not be sold in retail stores that check purchasers for legal age.
* Exposing smokers to more dangerous ingredients and constituents in cigarettes made by illegal manufacturers that are not under the scrutiny of FDA.”
Comments on the menthol-in-cigarettes debate, which must be received by the FDA by Nov. 22, can be made at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2013-N-0521-0079.
And there is more information on Lorillard’s views at www.understandingmenthol.com, and at http://www.lorillard.com/support-menthol-cigarettes/#sthash.ZibEGmaC.dpuf.
Category: Breaking News