August 24, 2010 - See recent new brief on this subject: Utah - bill introduced that makes it a misdemeanor to buy or sell flavored tobacco products..
A proposed Utah bill banning the sale of flavored tobacco products and novelty nicotine candies could lead to a lawsuit. A similar ban passed in New York City is being contested by several subsidiaries of Altria. Spokesman David Sutton says the lawsuit against the ban passed in the Big Apple argues regulating tobacco flavors is the purview of the federal government.
Sutton says a judge rejected a request to halt the New York City ban (see paragraph below) and a hearing for the case is expected shortly. Maine and New Jersey have also passed similar bans.
An order dated Monday, March 22nd and made public Tuesday, March 23rd, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan has rejected a move to temporarily stop the implementation of a new law restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The judge rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Company LLC, the maker of moist smokeless products Skoal and Copenhagen, and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc. Both companies are part of Altria Group Inc. (MO). (New York City - federal judge rejects plaintiffs attempt to stop the law that blocks the sale of flavored tobacco products.. ; NY City Council not backing down as US Smokeless Tobacco files lawsuit against city..; New York City bans the sale of flavored tobacco products..)
The FDA banned the sale of flavored cigarettes last fall, but exempted menthols. Sutton says states and cities can’t weigh in on flavored tobacco, since the federal government already has. (U.S. - flavored cigarettes illegal - now how about all tobacco products..)
Sutton says bans on flavors are unfair to adults. And he says bans aren’t as effective as responsible marketing and retailing, such as displaying these products behind the counter and ensuring stores aren’t selling to minors. “The bottom line with this,” Sutton says, “is that the prohibition of all tobacco products with characterizing flavors other than tobacco is simply not the most effective method of addressing underage tobacco use.”
Reference: Flavored Tobacco Proposal Likely Leading to Lawsuit by Elizabeth Ziegler, KCPW, 8/23/2010.
Utah - related news briefs:
Utah - bill introduced that makes it a misdemeanor to buy or sell flavored tobacco products..;
Utah - governor does not prevent tobacco tax increase from becoming law..;
Provo, Utah - county warns about dangers of dissolvable tobacco products..;
Utah - lawmakers approve one dollar increase in tax on a pack of cigarettes - now measure goes to governor..;
Utah - increase tobacco excise tax by $1.00 - we doubt it will happen..;
Proposal to increase Utah cigarette tax falters..;
Utah - philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., supports big boost in tobacco tax..;
Utah Bars Go Smokefree January 1, 2009..;
Utah moves from a tax based on the percentage of sales price to one based on the weight - independent of price of smokeless tobacco product..