FDA Action to Stop Sales of Nicotine… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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FDA Action to Stop Sales of Nicotine Lollipops Is Important First Step in Regulation of All Nicotine Products

Statement By Matthew L. Myers, President Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids
April 10, 2002

Washington, DC — Today's action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop the sale of nicotine-laced lollipops and lip balm is an important first step in closing the enormous and harmful gap that currently exists in the regulation of nicotine products, including cigarettes. Nicotine-laced lollipops are essentially a sugarcoated, addictive drug that is readily available to kids over the Internet and can be a steppingstone to using even more dangerous tobacco products. The critical question now is whether the FDA will use its existing authority to regulate other new nicotine products that, like the lollipops, are being sold without adequate consumer protections, including safety testing, scientific verification of the health claims being made about them, and controls over whether they are marketed and sold to children.

The lollipops are the symptom of a much larger problem as tobacco companies and other manufacturers rush to market a new generation of addictive nicotine products. These include Star Scientific's Ariva, a candy-like, mint-flavored tobacco lozenge; UST's Revel, a tobacco-filled pouch; nicotine water; and new cigarettes or cigarette-like products that are being marketed with claims that they reduce health risks for smokers, including R.J. Reynold's Eclipse, Brown & Williamson's Advance, Vector's Omni and Philip Morris' Accord.

These new nicotine products underscore the need for Congress to grant the FDA full and effective authority to regulate all nicotine-containing products, including cigarettes and other tobacco products. In addition, the FDA should immediately assert jurisdiction over those products that, like the lollipops, it can regulate under existing law either because they are not conventional tobacco products or because of the health claims being made about them. The failure of Congress and the FDA to act would give the tobacco companies and others carte blanche to introduce countless new nicotine products that increase the toll of addiction, disease and death that continues to plague America's kids and families.