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丁香烟公司起诉美国政府欲叫停加香雪茄禁令

2009年09月28日 来源:烟草在线据道琼斯通讯社报道编译 作者:
A+ A

  烟草在线据道琼斯通讯社报道编译  9月23日,一个顶级加香雪茄的进口商在联邦法庭对美国食品和药物管理局提起诉讼,以阻止该机构对加香雪茄的禁令。

  在加香雪茄禁令生效后一天,美国食品和药物管理局官员警告公司不要试图通过引入小雪茄或其他与卷烟类似的产品来规避禁令后,该诉讼被提起的。这起诉讼是烟草公司对该机构提出的最新诉讼,这可能会制约6月份批准的烟草法的实施和执行。

  嘉润丁香雪茄的进口商和分销商丁香烟国际有限公司,试图阻止美国食品及药物管理局的加香雪茄禁令。丁香烟国际公司是位于加利福尼亚州摩尔帕克的私营公司。

  丁香烟产品开发主管约翰·盖根说,几周前,预料加香卷烟禁令即将实施,公司停止进口加香卷烟。这项禁令适用于水果、糖果或丁香味的卷烟,但并不适用于有更大市场份额的薄荷味卷烟。

  作为烟草法律的一部分,美国食品及药物管理局被授予管理烟草的权限,加香烟草禁令也是该法律的一部分。

  盖根说,丁香烟国际公司进口丁香味雪茄已经有几年了,但是“因为禁止嘉润卷烟的发送,经销商和零售商都聚焦于丁香烟国际公司的雪茄,因此受到了额外的关注。”他说,该公司并不是刚刚开始进口雪茄,以绕过加香卷烟禁令的。

  虽然加香卷烟禁令并不适用于薄荷卷烟,美国食品和药物管理局周二(9月22日)表示,这是规范薄荷卷烟以及如有好几种味道的无烟烟草制品的其他烟草制品“范例”。

  烟草法授权美国食品和药物管理局管理雪茄,但是需要该机构首先发布规则,确定雪茄遵守法律,这个过程可能要花上数年的时间。

  但是美国食品和药物管理局烟草制品中心的主任劳伦斯·戴顿解释说,联邦定义的卷烟,包括“任何卷在纸之内的烟草”,表明根据《烟草法》和加香卷烟禁令,某些雪茄应当立即被禁止。

  美国食品及药物管理局的一位律师说,美国食品及药物管理局将会把“小雪茄”和类似产品,按照“个别情况”进行对待。

  在烟草业的一份备忘录中,FDA说,烟草法适用于所有满足“卷烟”定义的烟草产品,即使它们没有贴上卷烟或“被冠以雪茄或其他一些产品名称的”。

  然而,丁香烟国际公司指出,美国财政部的烟草税和贸易委员会根据2007年的联邦法,把嘉润的丁香味雪茄划分为雪茄。“法律明确区别卷烟和雪茄之间的差别已经有30余年了,”该公司说。

  上个月,包括雷诺美国和罗瑞拉德公司在内的一些烟草公司提起了诉讼,以阻止烟草法律的一些条款,理由是它侵犯了这些公司的“第一修正案”所授予的向成年消费者做广告的有限的权利。

Kretek Sues FDA To Stop Possible Flavored-Cigar Ban

Sep 23, 2009
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

  WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- A top importer of clove-flavored cigars filed suit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in federal court Wednesday to prevent the agency from banning flavored cigars.

  The suit comes a day after a ban on flavored cigarettes went into effect and after FDA officials warned companies not to try to circumvent the ban by introducing little cigars or other products similar to cigarettes. The lawsuit is the latest among other suits filed by tobacco companies against the agency that will likely tie up the implementation and enforcement of a tobacco- regulation law approved in June.

  Kretek International Inc., importer and distributor of Djarum clove cigars, is seeking to stop the FDA from banning its flavored cigars. Kretek is privately held firm based in Moorpark, Calif.

  John Geoghegan, Kretek's director of product development, said the company stopped importing flavored cigarettes several weeks ago in anticipation of the ban on flavored cigarettes. The ban applies to cigarettes with fruit, candy or clove flavors but doesn't apply to the much larger segment of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

  The FDA was given the authority to regulate tobacco as part of the tobacco law and the flavored-tobacco ban was called for as part of the legislation.

  Geoghegan said Kretek has been importing clove-flavored cigars for several years, but "because of the banning of market shipments of Djarum cigarettes, distributor and retailer focus on Kretek's cigars has taken on additional prominence." He said the company didn't just start importing cigars to get around the ban on flavored cigarettes.

  While the flavored-cigarette ban doesn't apply to menthol cigarettes, the FDA said Tuesday that it is "examining options" for regulating menthol cigarettes as well as other tobacco products such as smokeless tobacco products that are also available in several flavors.

  The tobacco law allows the FDA to regulate cigars but requires the agency to first issue regulations deeming cigars to be subject to the law, a process that could take years.

  But Lawrence Deyton, director of FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, explained that the federal definition of a cigarette includes "any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper," suggesting certain cigars could immediately fall under the tobacco law and the flavored-cigarette ban.

  An FDA lawyer said the FDA would look at "little cigars" and similar products on a "case-by-case basis."

  In a memo to industry, the FDA said the tobacco law applies to all tobacco products that meet the definition of a "cigarette," even if they aren't labeled as cigarettes or "are labeled as cigars or some other product."

  However, Kretek noted that the Treasury Department's Tobacco Tax and Trade Board classified its Djarum clove-flavored cigars as cigars under federal law in 2007. "The difference between cigarettes and cigars has been clearly defined by standing law for more than 30 years," the company said.

  Last month some tobacco companies including Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) and Lorillard Inc. (LO) filed a lawsuit seeking to block certain provisions of the tobacco law on grounds that it violates the companies' First Amendment rights by restricting rights to advertise the products to adult consumers.

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