More - Lorillard-Newport - FDA proposed tobacco regulation ..

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The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act outlaws cherry, vanilla and other flavors but not menthol. Seven former U.S. health secretaries called on Congress in June 2008 to amend the bill to include menthol in the list of banned flavors. Co-sponsors in the House added language to the measure urging health officials to study the safety of menthol and its effect on the health of black smokers. So if passed into law, the FDA could regulate menthol in cigarettes but only after scientific study and a federal rulemaking process. Why is menthol regulation a big deal for Greensboro, NC-based Lorillard?

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%.

Lorillard agrees that a proper scientific review based on “sound information and scientific evidence and data, as the Energy and Commerce Committee report states, with involvement by all interested parties as required under federal rulemaking procedures, will be informative in addressing the questions that are being raised about menthol cigarettes.

The debate over menthol may doom the legislation, which failed in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005, said David Adelman, a tobacco analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, in a June 5 note to clients.

Related news brief:
Congressional Black Caucus - Menthol Exemption..; Black Lawmakers Want to Limit Use of Menthol Cigarettes... There are other related briefs: do a random search.

References: U.S. House passes tobacco regulation billMark Binker, Capital Beat, 7/31/2008 and Tobacco Regulation by FDA Passes House; Bush May Veto (Update2) by Catherine Larkin,, 7/30/2008.