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Company Wants FDA Blessing to Market 'Safer' Tobacco Products

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A Virginia company plans to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permission to market its smokeless-tobacco products as “modified risk,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sept. 23.

Star Scientific Inc. aims to be the first company to seek the blessing of the FDA — which was recently authorized to regulate tobacco products — to tell the public that its products are potentially less harmful to their health than other products on the market. The FDA tobacco-regulation law allows manufacturers to request a scientific review by the agency for the purposes of such marketing authorization.

“The benefit of the new law is that these decisions will now be based on science from an objective viewpoint,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Star Scientific would not reveal which products are under development or would be submitted to FDA, but the company is expected to produce dissolvable tobacco-based lozenges. “What would distinguish it is the even significantly lower nitrosamine levels,” according to a company spokesperson. Nitrosamines are carcinogens found in tobacco products.

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