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Tobacco Companies Prevented From Launching New Products by FDA

New product launches in tobacco industry have nearly been halted across the United States since regulatory reviews of thousands of tobacco companies’ applications obliged by a 2009 Tobacco Control Act are taking more time than the regulation requires.

new tobacco products halted by FDA

Tobacco firms have launched roughly no new tobacco products, like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco across the nation in nearly 18 months since the federal government has barred them from introducing new products, a review by Associated Press has discovered.

That is an unprecedented delay for a business that historically has launched up to a hundred of new products each year, and demonstrates its dramatically controversial relationship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which became in charge of regulating tobacco industry in 2009.

The FDA authorities claim the reviews of the product applications have been taking so much time due to the “considerable deficiencies” and since the federal agency is taking additional care in examining the products that present public health hazards.

Industry officials admit cigarettes haven’t been changed in any significant way, and the delays in review have no sense, and in addition the changes in the existing products are more than simply, such as changes in names, packaging designs or cigarette filters.

Starting from June 2009, when the legislation permitting the FDA to regulate tobacco products came into force, the tobacco companies have filled about 3,500 product applications, in accordance with the data provided under a Freedom of Information Act query. Whereas neither of them has been ruled upon, the overwhelming majority of those products are already available on the market, including market hits Marlboro Black NXT, Camel Crush and non-menthol Newport.

According to a grandfather clause in the Tobacco Control Act, tobacco companies were allowed to sell only those products under-review, introduced from February 2007 to March 2011, which are similar to the products previously selling on the national market. However, these products might be removed from the market, in case they don’t pass agency regulation. The delay is partially explained by the fact that tobacco companies are still learning their options in dealing with the new regulations.

“The tobacco industry has a burden of proving that the new products arriving to the market, as well as brand extensions and modifications would not contribute to the growth of tobacco consumption in adolescents, or rise toxicity levels or misleadingly prevent people from quitting,” admitted Matthew Myers, head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.