As of Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale of four R.J. Reynolds cigarette products. The statement from the federal agency noted that a scientific review of the products determined they were potentially more harmful than the company had claimed.
The FDA ordered retailers who sell any of the four brands of cigarettes (Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13) to stop selling them immediately and properly dispose of them on pain of financial penalties or criminal prosecution.
“These decisions were based on a rigorous, science-based review designed to protect the public from the harms caused by tobacco use,” Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the F.D.A., noted in the statement. “The agency will continue to review product submissions and exercise its legal authority and consumer protection duty to remove products from the market when they fail to meet the public health bar set forth under law.”
Retailers will have 30 days from Wednesday of this week to make arrangements to dispose of their inventory of the banned products before the FDA will begin enforcing the order.
A spokesperson for the tobacco firm said the company did have a comment at this time.
Details on FDA ban of some new RJ Reynolds cigarettes
An FDA evaluation of the new cigarette products from RJ Reynolds found that Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes were not substantially equivalent to their “predicate” products (products that were commercially marketed as of Feb. 15, 2007).
The evaluation noted that RJ Reynolds failed to demonstrate that increased amounts of harmful or potentially harmful constituents, higher levels of menthol, or the addition of new ingredients in the currently marketed products do not raise questions of public health.
FOr example, for Camel Crush Bold, a failure to prove that adding a menthol capsule in the filter did not affect consumer perception or use was a major factor in the negative decision.
Industry analysts noted that RJR would probably file for an injunction to halt the ban, or perhaps just go ahead and remove the products and take their battle to the courtroom.