Fitch Ratings - FDA menthol review - risk to tobacco industry..

May 15, 2010 - The outcome of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) menthol review poses significant risks for tobacco companies, Fitch Ratings, an international credit rating agency reported Friday, May 14th.

The FDA is developing a report on the risks of menthol flavoring and issuing a recommendation based on its findings. Fitch said that it believes it is difficult to conclude that menthol cigarettes are more harmful than unflavored cigarettes. But the risk for tobacco companies, Fitch said, is that the FDA could give more weight to studies that find menthol cigarettes harmful based on better data collection, study methodology and other factors in those studies.

The outcome, regulations and timeline of enforcement stemming from the review are still uncertain. But Fitch said it poses "significant" risks for companies that sell menthol cigarettes.

Reference: Fitch: FDA review poses risk to tobacco industry, Yahoo Finance - Associated Press, 5/14/2010.

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