FDA takes action against four tobacco manufacturers for illegal sales of flavored cigarettes labeled as little cigars or cigars

Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued warning letters to four tobacco manufacturers — Swisher International Inc., Cheyenne International LLC, Prime Time International Co. and Southern Cross Tobacco Company Inc. — for selling flavored cigarettes that are labeled as little cigars or cigars, which is a violation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The companies received warning letters for products under the “Swisher Sweets,” Cheyenne,” “Prime Time” and “Criss-Cross” brands in a variety of youth-appealing flavors, including grape, cherry, wild cherry and strawberry.

“Flavored cigarettes appeal to kids and disguise the bad taste of tobacco, but they are just as addictive as regular tobacco products and have the same harmful health effects,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Because about 90 percent of adult daily smokers smoked their first cigarette by the age of 18, continued enforcement of the ban on cigarettes with characterizing flavors is vital to protect future generations from a lifetime of addiction.”

The Tobacco Control Act, which was passed by Congress and signed by the President in 2009, banned cigarettes containing certain characterizing flavors, such as candy or fruit flavors, to reduce the number of youth who start to smoke and who become addicted to dangerous tobacco products. The FDA began enforcing that provision in September 2009.

Read more: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm532563.htm