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Public Health Groups Urge FDA to Follow up on Nicotine Lollipop Ban by Taking Action Against Other New Nicotine Products

April 22, 2002

Washington, DC — Eleven public health groups today sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the FDA to stop the sale of other new nicotine products just as it recently stopped the sale of nicotine lollipops and lip balm.

The FDA on April 10 barred the sale of the nicotine lollipops and lip balm, citing health and safety concerns and their accessibility and appeal to children. Today's letter urges the FDA to act on petitions filed by public health groups on December 18, 2001, that called on the FDA to stop the sale of other new nicotine-containing products. These include Nicotine Water, Star Scientific's Ariva tobacco lozenges, and more traditional cigarette products being marketed with claims of reduced risk, including Star/Brown & Williamson's Advance and Vector Tobacco's Omni.

The petitions assert that the FDA has authority to regulate these products under existing law either because they are not traditional tobacco products yet contain nicotine, a poisonous and addictive substance, or because of the health claims made about them.

'While we recognize that no two products are exactly alike, FDA's authority over these products is as strong as the authority that it exercised to prohibit the sale of nicotine lollipops…. The same public health imperative that led the FDA to prohibit the sale of nicotine-laced lollipops should lead to the same swift and decisive action with regard to these products,' said the letter sent today by the public health groups.

Public health groups signing the letter include the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids.

View letter