“Natural” Cigarettes? Nice Try

FDA Takes Action Against Misleading Marketing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Statement attributable to:
Robert Wergin, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Tobacco manufacturers that try to trick the American public by slapping ‘additive free’ and ‘natural’ claims on their cigarette labels just received a reality check, courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration. Today, the FDA called three tobacco manufacturers out on the carpet, and the American Academy of Family Physicians couldn’t be happier.

“The FDA issued its warning letters(www.fda.gov) just days after the AAFP and a host of other organizations sent a letter to the FDA, alerting Center for Tobacco Products Director Mitchell Zeller that Reynolds American, Inc. and its subsidiary Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., were in violation of the modified risk provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The ads for their cigarettes conveyed a clear message of reduced risk and reduced exposure to harmful substances.

“This is just the latest example of tobacco companies using deceitful marketing ploys to mislead the public. I’m sick of it. Let’s be perfectly clear: Cigarettes kill. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking accounts for about one in five deaths(www.cdc.gov) annually in America.

"These tobacco manufacturers are trying to convince the American public that their product is a healthier alternative to other cigarettes. This isn’t the tobacco industry’s first lie, and it won’t be its last, but right now, I’d like to thank the FDA for taking action on this critical public health issue.”

 

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Wergin, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 5223, or mmoriarty@aafp.org.


 

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

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