R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) has signed a technology-sharing term sheet with British American Tobacco (BAT) that provides a framework for collaboration and mutual cross-licensing of vapor product technologies through 2022.
The term sheet is the first step in reaching a definitive agreement under which RJR and BAT will collaborate to develop next-generation vapor products. Specifics of the agreement are still being negotiated by the companies, who have a goal of reaching a definitive contract by the end of the year. The collaboration will include a process for joint research and development activities, as well as cooperation on regulatory, scientific and manufacturing issues related to vapor products.
“This proposed technology-sharing agreement makes great business sense as we lead the transformation of the tobacco industry, allowing us to continue to deliver innovative, high-quality vapor products to adult tobacco consumers seeking smoke-free alternatives,” said Debra Crew, R.J. Reynolds’ president and chief commercial officer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds to pull their Camel Crush Bold cigarette brand off the market. The FDA acted under a key provision of the 2009 law that requires prior FDA review and authorization before tobacco companies are permitted to market new or changed products.
The decision, which was announced on Sept. 15, marks the first time the agency has ordered a tobacco company to remove a major cigarette brand from the market since it was granted regulatory authority over tobacco products by the 2009 law. This move sets an important precedent that could apply to other brands as the FDA works to prevent the introduction of tobacco products to the market that may be more appealing to youth, more addictive or more harmful.
The 2009 law prohibits the introduction of a new or changed tobacco product unless the manufacturer proves to the FDA that the product is either “appropriate for the protection of public health” or “substantially equivalent” to a product already on the market. Manufacturers must also prove that the product “does not pose different questions of public health.”
In addition to Camel Crush Bold, the FDA also issued orders that will stop the further sale and distribution of three other cigarette products currently marketed by R.J. Reynolds: Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes. The FDA determined that these products were not substantially equivalent to existing products.
The FDA found that R.J. Reynolds failed to demonstrate that these products do not “raise different questions of public health,” particularly because of the higher levels of menthol, the addition of sugars and other sweeteners, a new method of delivering menthol, and increased levels of harmful and potentially harmful constituents.
Camel is one of the three most popular cigarette brands among youth smokers, with 15.1 percent preferring Camel, according to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Camel Crush is an extension of the brand with a capsule in the filter that releases menthol when crushed.
Alan Rodgman, a prominent tobacco chemist, passed away on Dec. 16, 2013.
After joining R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s research department in 1954, Rodgman initiated the company’s research on cigarette smoke composition. He personally conducted and actively directed environmental tobacco smoke research until 1987.
Rodgman became director of research in 1976. During his career, he served on the editorial board of Tobacco Science, the Council for Tobacco Research, the Coresta Scientific Commission and several U.S. government tobacco-related committees.
He was a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada and the American Chemical Society for 60 years and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences for 40 years.
Rodgman published numerous scientific papers on tobacco smoke composition and served as a reviewer for tobacco-related manuscripts. In 2003 he was awarded the inaugural Tobacco Science Research Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for his tobacco-related research and activities. In late 2008 Rodgman co-authored The chemical components of tobacco and tobacco smoke, for which the authors jointly received the 2010 Coresta Award.
Originally from Wales, U.K., Rodgman held a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today held unconstitutional a regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would have forced cigarette makers to place nine graphic health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertising.
Agreeing with arguments made by four tobacco manufacturers, the Court held that the proposed warnings violated the First Amendment because the FDA did not provide evidence that the graphic warnings would “‘directly advance” its interest in reducing the number of Americans who smoke.”
More than informative
“We are pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed with Reynolds that consumers can and should be fully informed about the risks of tobacco use in a manner consistent with the U.S. Constitution,” said Martin L. Holton III, executive vice president and general counsel for R.J. Reynolds, which was one of the plaintiffs.
“Reynolds is committed to providing tobacco consumers with accurate information about the various health risks associated with smoking.”
The Court of Appeals noted that the government can require companies to make “purely factual and uncontroversial” disclosures about the risks of their products in order to prevent consumer deception, but stated that the graphic warnings crossed into unconstitutional territory:
“These inflammatory images and the provocatively-named hotline cannot rationally be viewed as pure attempts to convey information to consumers. They are unabashed attempts to evoke emotion (and perhaps embarrassment) and browbeat consumers into quitting.”
The Court relied on data included in FDA’s regulation that showed the graphic warnings would have little to no effect in reducing tobacco use. In particular, FDA’s analysis of the regulation estimated that the warnings would likely cause no statistically significant change in U.S. smoking rates.