Attorneys General And R.j. Reynolds Reach
Attorney General Spitzer today announced that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the Attorneys General of 38 states have entered into a settlement that ends the sale of candy, fruit and alcohol flavored cigarettes manufactured and sold by the company.
Under the settlement, Reynolds agreed to a ban in the United States of its Camel, Kool and Salem flavored cigarettes. The agreement also imposes significant marketing restrictions to prevent Reynolds from marketing a flavored cigarette to youth in the future. The following restrictions apply to any cigarettes manufactured by Reynolds in the future that have a characterizing flavor other than tobacco or menthol:
The name of the cigarette may not be that of a candy, a fruit or an alcoholic beverage, and may not include any of a number of specified terms that evoke imagery of candy, fruit or alcoholic beverages;
Reynolds may not use print advertising, point of sale materials, exterior packaging, or non-age verified direct mail or internet advertising that contain (i) names of a candy, a fruit or an alcoholic beverage, (ii) any of a number of specified terms that evoke imagery of candy, fruit or alcoholic beverages, or (iii) imagery of candy, fruit, sweet desserts or alcoholic beverages; and
Reynolds may not distribute scented promotional materials, such as "Lift and Sniffs" or "Scratch and Sniffs."
The states had asserted that Reynolds was violating the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement's prohibition on youth targeting through its advertising, marketing and promotion of its flavored cigarettes.
The evidence that led the states to conclude that Reynolds was targeting youth included: use of candy, fruit and alcohol flavors with high youth appeal; use of advertising and packaging with graphics, typography, colors, styles and themes that were enticing to youth; and use of "Scratch and Sniff" and "Lift and Sniff" promotional cards scented with sweet, candy aromas, but with none of the scent of tobacco.
"Selling candy, fruit and sweetened alcohol flavored cigarettes is downright irresponsible, given the appeal of these products to youth. This result reflects a recognition that the Attorneys General, together with the public health community, will not tolerate Reynolds' shameful ploys to introduce our children to smoking and to lure them into a lifetime of addiction to its deadly products," Spitzer said.
The brand styles of flavored cigarettes sold by Reynolds that are banned by the Agreement are: Camel Exotic Blends: Mandarin Mint, Dark Mint, Crema, Izmir Stinger, Twist, Cinnzabar, Mandalay Lime, Aegean Spice, Bayou Blast, Beach Breezer, Margarita Mixer, Midnight Madness, Back Alley Blend, Kauai Kolada, Twista Lime, Winter MochaMint, Warm Winter Toffee, Blackjack Gin, Screwdriver Slots and SnakeEyes Scotch; Salem Silver: Dark Currents, Fire & Ice, Deep Freeze and Cool Myst; and Kool Smooth Fusions: Mintrigue, Mocha Taboo, Midnight Berry and Caribbean Chill.
Joining Attorney General Spitzer in today's settlement are the Attorneys General of: Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Utah; Vermont; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; and Wyoming. The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas also joined in the agreement.
The investigation, which was led by New York and Illinois, also involved a team of lawyers from the offices of the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut and Maryland. For New York State, the matter was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Joy Feigenbaum and Shahla Ali of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection under the supervision of Bureau Chief Thomas G. Conway, and Jane Azia, Chief of the Internet Bureau.
QUOTES ON FLAVORED CIGARETTES SETTLEMENT
John L. Kirkwood, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association said: "We commend Attorneys General Spitzer and Madigan and the other Attorneys General for ending R.J. Reynolds' blatant attempt to use candy- and alcohol-flavored cigarettes to addict kids. This is an important step forward in our national campaign to curb tobacco use and highlights the need for the U.S. Congress to enact legislation to ensure that these and other tobacco products are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
Matt Myers, President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said: "There is no more flagrant recent example of tobacco marketing to kids than RJR's candy and alcohol flavored cigarettes. This landmark settlement achieves a major public health victory for America's kids and families in the never-ending battle to prevent the tobacco industry from marketing to our children."
Joseph A. Califano, Jr., president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, chairman of the Citizens' Commission to Protect the Truth and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, said: "I congratulate the Attorneys General of New York and Illinois and the other Attorneys General for their aggressive moves which have caused RJ Reynolds to stop marketing, producing and selling flavored cigarettes in this country. RJ Reynolds' marketing of these cigarettes was an outrageous attempt to lure children into smoking. Attorneys General Spitzer and Madigan and the other Attorneys General have done a great service for America's children and teens."
Russell Sciandra, Director of the Center for a Tobacco Free New York, said, "In July, a federal judge ruled that the cigarette companies' marketing tactics, of which flavored cigarettes are an egregious example, contribute substantially to youth smoking rates. This agreement plugs one of the big holes in the wall protecting our kids from Big Tobacco's ongoing campaign to recruit new young customers to replace the thousands their products kill every year. We urge all cigarette manufacturers to join this agreement."
"Candy flavored cigarettes now join Joe Camel on the ash heap of defunct tobacco marketing schemes," said Donald Distasio, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey. "This is a tremendous victory for public health and the Attorneys General's office is to be congratulated. There simply is no defensible reason to create and sell products designed to make it easier for kids to get hooked on smoking, and the time has come for the Food and Drug Administration to take action and start regulating tobacco products."
"I applaud the successful efforts of the Attorneys General to put an end to flavored cigarettes. Simply put, they add to the tobacco industry's arsenal of methods to lure our children into lifelong, deadly tobacco addictions," said Cheryl Healton, Dr. P.H.; President and Chief Executive Officer, American Legacy Foundation.
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