ITG Brands is to respond to a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration about its use of the term ‘additive free’ in relation to its Winston brand of cigarettes, according to a story by Toni Clarke for Reuters, relayed by the TMA.
The FDA has warned Santa Fe Natural Tobacco (Reynolds American), ITG Brands and Nat Sherman that advertising traditional cigarette products as ‘additive free’ or ‘natural’ is in violation of federal regulations.
ITG reportedly said that it believed its products complied with all US federal and state regulations and disagreed with the FDA’s position on the issue.
But it said it would respond to the agency’s warning letter in the coming days.
The wording that the FDA objects to is said to appear only on Winston’s cartons, and not on packs or advertisements.
ITG said that Winston, which had been owned by ITG for only 76 days (Winston was one of the brands sold off when Reynolds American acquired Lorillard), had been marketed with its current packaging for more than 15 years in compliance with an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission.
In an August 24 letter, about 30 health organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Heart Association and the American Thoracic Society, urged the FDA to take action against Reynolds American Inc and its subsidiary Santa Fe Natural Tobacco for the marketing of Natural American Spirit cigarettes.
The brand’s sales had risen by 86 percent between 2009 and 2014 while cigarette sales nationally declined 17 percent, the letter said.
In announcing its results for the second quarter of this year, Reynolds said that Natural American Spirit’s market share had risen by 0.3 of a percentage point to 1.8 percent.