Statement on R.J. Reynold's Agreement to Stop the Sale of Candy-flavored Cigarettes
For immediate release: October 11, 2006
Boston, MA-- In a settlement with the Attorneys General of 38 states, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company today agreed to end the sale of candy, fruit and alcohol-flavored cigarettes. The states had asserted that Reynolds was violating the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement's prohibition on youth targeting through its advertising, marketing and promotion of flavored cigarettes.
Massachusetts was the first state to complain to the Attorneys General that tobacco company marketing of flavored cigarettes violated the Master Settlement Agreement. Research by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers Gregory N. Connolly and Carrie Carpenter was supportive of the Attorneys General's case. Dr. Connolly is Director of the Tobacco Control Research Program at HSPH.
Statement by Dr. Gregory N. Connolly: "This is one company of many that uses candy-flavored products - including smokeless tobacco products -- to entice young people to begin tobacco use. It’s become an international issue. We’re seeing it not only in cigarettes but in "bidis" sold in India and in other products throughout the world.
"Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health unearthed hundreds of internal industry documents that clearly showed intent to market the products to youth, and we published these findings in the scientific literature as well as issued an expert report to the World Health Organization. WHO issued an advisory to countries to require the reporting of additives and candylike flavorings in tobacco products sold globally."
Connolly added: "This is a great example of how science can be used to protect the health of children, the most vulnerable among us, from public health enemy number one -- tobacco."
Research was begun while Dr.Connolly was with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Carpenter, research associate, was principal author, and Connolly senior author of the HSPH study in the November 2005 Health Affairs "New Cigarette Brands with Flavors That Appeal to Youth: Tobacco Marketing Strategies."http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/press11102005.html
Settlement press release from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office: http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2006/oct/oct11a_06.html
For further information contact: Robin Herman (617)432-4752