The Food and Drug Administration this week banned the sale of four brands of R.J. Reynolds cigarettes, including the popular Camel Crush Bold.
The agency said the brands did not meet their safety review requirements.
As the Associated Press notes, FDA rules require companies to show that new cigarette brands are not any more harmful than other types already on the market. However, the agency said that in the case of the four banned brands, R.J. Reynolds “failed to show” that the cigarettes were “not substantially” different from older products.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the four brands -- Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 -- are any more hazardous than other types of cigarettes.
As FDA’s tobacco director Mitch Zeller explained, it means “the different characteristics of these products raise different issues of public health.”
“In our mind, these changed features raised questions for us,” he said.
The agency has ordered retailers to stop the sale of these brands immediately. However, stores and distributors have been given 30 days to dispose of the products.
“Failure to obey federal tobacco product laws may result in the FDA initiating further action without notice, including, but not limited to, civil money penalties, no-tobacco-sale orders, criminal prosecution, seizure, and/or injunction,” the agency said.
R. J. Reynolds said this week that it “strongly disagrees” with the FDA decision.
“Our submissions to the agency on these brands were comprehensive, and we believe we effectively demonstrated substantial equivalence,” said Jeffery S. Gentry, the company’s executive vice president for operations, in a statement.
The tobacco company, whose brands include Newport, Lucky Strike and Kent, has not indicated if it's planning on taking any further steps of action, according to the New York Times. Gentry said, however, that they were “examining all of our options.”
Read more about the FDA ban at the agency’s website.
Also on HuffPost: