U.S. Senators warn tobacco companies not to engage in misleading cigarette advertising..

June 19, 2010 - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) urged four major tobacco companies not to engage in any effort to mislead customers to believe they are buying safer cigarettes. Last year, Congress passed landmark legislation that banned using descriptors in cigarette labeling—such as "light," "mild," or "low-tar"—which insinuate or imply that certain products are healthier or lower risk than regular cigarettes.

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Despite the ban on these terms, recent news reports have suggested that cigarette companies are planning to replace the use of these words with creative packaging and inserts that clearly circumvent the intent of this law, the senators said.

Durbin and Lautenberg sent letters to the following companies: Altria Group (Philip Morris USA), Reynolds American (R.J. Reynolds), Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group.

"The new law sends 'Light' and 'Low Tar' cigarettes into the trash bin of history, but the tobacco companies are trying to continue using smoke and mirrors to market 'healthier' cigarettes," said Lautenberg. "It was exposed years ago that for many people, smoking so-called 'Light' cigarettes was even more dangerous for them than regular cigarettes. Big Tobacco wants to prolong the myth of 'safer' cigarettes and continue deceiving smokers, but they do so at their own legal peril. Senator Durbin and I are working to ensure smokers understand the major health risks posed by all cigarettes, and prevent a future generation of smokers from getting hooked in the first place."

Reference:: Senatorial Scolding Durbin, Lautenberg warn tobacco companies not to engage in misleading cigarette advertising, Convenience Store/Petroleum (CSP) Daily News, 6/18/2010.

The FDA should also listen to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) when he urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pull the dissolvable tobacco products – namely Camel’s Orbs, Sticks, and Strips – from stores until the agency could conduct a study of their effects on children and teenagers. (U.S. - senator urges FDA to pull dissolvable tobacco products from test market sites..)