With U.S. FDA tobacco regulations on the horizon Altria already preparing to circumvent the law..

June 26, 2008 - We know now that the tobacco legislation (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) that is currently before Congress represents the results of a negotiation between the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Philip Morris (PM). (News Brief May 13, 2008) We worry that the legislation will be flawed because the biggest player in the tobacco industry - Altria - Philip Morris USA (PM) has been directly involved in writing the bill. Mike Szymanczyk now the CEO of Altria, Inc. has told investors they were directly involved in the process of preparing the bill. (Remarks, Investor Presentation, 3/11/2008) The bill would ban most artificial flavors except for menthol and clove from being added to tobacco products. Some public health experts are questioning why menthol, the most widely used cigarette flavoring and the most popular cigarette choice of African-American smokers is being favored. National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN), has recently pulled its support for the bill because they felt the legislation failed to adequately protect the health of African-Americans. ((June 17, 2008 News Brief) From the article entitled "Hey, Buddy, Can I Bum a Snus Off You? by Claude Brodesser-akner, Advertising Age Print Issue, 6/23/2008; we learn that 28 federal trademark applications for snus are in different stages of approval, all of which could be used to market snus in ways other than explicitly touting their flavors. For example, Philip Morris appears to be prepared if Marlboro Snus Spice, for which a trademark is pending, is deep-sixed by the FDA: It has also applied for more-generic but still evocative trademarks such "Marlboro Snus Snug Gold." Philip Morris declined to comment on the trademarks. Once the new regulations are in place and enforceable we can't have the tobacco industry circumventing these regulations at every turn as is done now. (TobaccoWatch.org)