Lorillard Tobacco - Dr. Heck non-voting member of FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..

March 25, 2010 - Lorillard Tobacco Company today, March 24th issued the following statement after notification that Dr. J. Daniel Heck, the company's principal scientist, will serve as a non-voting representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.

As required by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“Tobacco Act”), FDA has established the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (“TPSAC”). (FDA - Roster of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee..)

The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee consists of 12 members, including the Chair to be selected by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, from among experts knowledgeable in the fields of medicine, medical ethics, science, or technology involving the manufacture, evaluation or use of tobacco products. There will be nine voting and three non-voting members. Of the nine voting members, seven will be health care professionals practicing in the area of oncology, pulmonology, cardiology, toxicology, pharmacology, addiction, or any other relevant specialty. One member will be an officer or employee of a state or local government or the federal government, and the final member will be a representative of the general public.

The three non-voting members were to be identified with industry interests. These members will include one representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry, one representative of the tobacco growers, and one representative of the small business manufacturing industry. (FDA Moves Forward on Implementation of Tobacco Law..

The first meeting of TPSAC is March 30, 31, 2010.

"With the full membership of the TPSAC now in place, Lorillard looks forward to working with the Committee and contributing to its scientific review of menthol and other topics," the company said. "Lorillard remains confident that a serious examination of menthol science will show that the best available science does not support an assertion that menthol impacts public health. The committee's decision regarding menthol in tobacco is extremely important to Lorillard. Newport, the best selling menthol cigarette in the U.S, 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 - essentially a one-product company - Newport cigarettes..)

"Dr. Heck has more than 30 years of professional experience in research and a strong record of peer-reviewed articles and studies," the company added. "We are honored that he will serve as the representative of the tobacco manufacturing industry on the Committee, and we are confident his expertise will contribute to a fair hearing that is grounded in good science that advances public policy."

Dr. Heck's most recent manuscript, a comprehensive review of the use of menthol as a cigarette flavoring, was published in the January 2010 issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Dr. Heck earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. He has served as Principal Scientist at Lorillard since 2003.

Dr. Heck is a Diplomate to the American Board of Toxicology and a member of the Society of Toxicology. He has served and continues to serve on numerous professional committees, including the Safety Evaluation Coordinating Committee of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) of the United States and the Cigarettes Ingredients Scientific Panel. Dr. Heck also peer reviews manuscripts for many prominent publications, including Toxicological Sciences and Food and Chemical Toxicology, and also serves on the editorial board of Inhalation Toxicology and Beitr├Ąge zur Tabakforschung International.

Reference: Lorillard Tobacco's Principal Scientist to Represent Tobacco Industry on FDA's Scientific Advisory Committee, SOURCE Lorillard, Inc., PR Newswire, 3/24/2010.