C-store Update - cigar makers are getting a free ride..

August 22, 2010 - Click on any image to enlarge..

Federal health officials banned the sale of flavored cigarettes on Tuesday, September 22nd in its first major action since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given authority of regulate tobacco. (Clove cigars close but not cigarettes..)The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, was quick to point out that these flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers.

Unfortunately, these flavored cigarettes at present are not even one percent of the cigarette market. Further action on the part of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products must include an expansion of the ban to include all flavored tobacco products such as cigars, cigarillos, snuff, chewing tobacco, dissolvable tobacco products, blunt wraps). As pointed out in an FDA Parental Advisory - these kinds of flavored products make tobacco products especially appealing to kids, and can lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction.

But nothing is happening - meanwhile tobacco makers are getting bolder and bolder especially in regard to cigarillos (just like cigarettes but wrapped in a tobacco leaf) with the release of new flavored products to entice young adults to give them a try. This means they are indirectly targeting kids because they want to act like young adults.

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) seems to be able to focus on one subject at a time - the future of menthol cigarettes. The last meeting had dissolvable tobacco products (like pellets, sticks and edible strips for the tongue) on the agenda but were removed at the last moment to devote all the time to menthol cigarettes. (FDA CTR Scientific Advisory Committee to meet - dissolvable tobacco products..; Back In April, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg urged the FDA to pull the dissolvable tobacco products from stores until the agency could conduct a study of their effects on children and teenagers.)

What can be accomplished regarding menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes have continued to gain in popularity and represent as much as 35% of market share of a $70-80 billion business. The advisory group should have NO problem in recommending (in the report due on March. 2011) that mentholated cigarettes be removed from the market. The major task will be to determine how this can be accomplished. Just stop and think how many people will lose their jobs. Newport, gives Lorillard 94% of its revenue, 92% of its volumes, 34% share of all menthol cigarette sales in the US, as well as an overall domestic tobacco market share of 10%. The union representing nearly 4,000 tobacco workers sent a letter to the FDA's TPSAC, warning that a ban could lead to "severe jobs loss" and black market cigarettes. (More on the defense of menthol - the Tobacco Industry..)

Today we want to concentrate on cigars - mainly cigarillos.. Cigar makers are getting a free ride.. There are no provision in the rule released by FDA apply to cigars (
U.S. FDA publishes rules to protect our children that restrict advertising and marketing of tobacco products..), the PACT Act does not apply to cigars (Pact Act did not apply to cigars..) and the Head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, Dr. Lawrence Deyton last May told a members of the Tobacco Merchants Association they are not sure if they'll do a study to see if cigars should be closely regulated. (FDA CTP Director speaks at Tobacco Merchants Association annual conference..)

As part of the FDA rule that became effective on June 22, 2010 there is a provision that prohibits the sale of cigarette packages with less than 20 cigarettes. But an even more important rule would be to prohibit the sale of inexpensive (cheap, low priced) cigars sold individually (single, loosies) at convenience stores and gas stations. Such cigars are often marketed in youth-friendly flavors such as cherry, apple and lime and are sold for as little as 49 (forty-nine) cents to $1. (John Middleton challenges ban on single cigar sales..) see news brief: Prohibit the sale of inexpensive machine-made cigars..; (C-store update: stop sales of single cigars, smokeless tobacco health warnings, etc..)

John Middleton Co. maker of the multi-flavored Black & Mild Cigars, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc., also got into the act. Their second flavored cigarillo entry is called Royale. From what c-store personnel tell us it tastes like cognac, a variety of brandy.

Ballers Choice promotion on You Tube..
USA FDA - CTP - highly popular machine made flavored cigars.. Royal Blunts is the manufacture of Royal Blunts Cigar Wraps and Ballers Choice Cigars. (Boston's ban on blunt wraps stands..)

Last c-store update..

The next c-store update on other topics within c-stores will be released in a few days.