Lautenberg Calls For FDA Crackdown On Cigarette Advertising

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) joined four of his Democratic colleagues to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on marketing by cigarette companies that misleads consumers about the safety of their products.

Cigarette companies have adapted their advertising and marketing practices to skirt restrictions signed into law in 2009 and the FDA must take action, Lautenberg and Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter to FDA Administrator Margaret Hamburg.

“In the absence of clear regulations, cigarette companies continue to deceptively market their products, misleading consumers about the health consequences that come from smoking,” the Senators wrote.

In 2009, Congress passed legislation that prohibited using descriptors in cigarette labeling—such as “light,” “mild,” or “low-tar”—that insinuate or imply that certain products are healthier or lower risk than regular cigarettes. Research has shown that, although smoke from “light” cigarettes may feel smoother or lighter on the throat and chest, these cigarettes are not less harmful than regular cigarettes.

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