FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Extension of Deadline for Submission of Public Comments
AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.
ACTION: Extension of deadline for submission of comments on proposed revisions to the Federal Trade Commission methodology for determining tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide yields of cigarettes, and on a proposed format for disclosing the resulting ratings in advertising.
SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "Commission") is extending until January 20, 1998 the deadline for filing comments on its proposed revisions to the testing method used to determine the tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide ratings of cigarettes, and on two possible formats for disclosure of those test results.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: Shira D. Modell, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, (202) 326-3116.
On September 9, 1997, the Commission issued a notice proposing changes to the methodology currently used to determine cigarette ratings for tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide. See 62 Fed. Reg. 48,158 (Sept. 12, 1997). The proposed methodology would produce tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide yields using both the current testing parameters and more intensive smoking conditions, thus producing a range of potential yields for each cigarette. The Commission requested comment on those proposed changes to the testing methodology, and on the feasibility of generating the upper tier of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide ratings through mathematical formulas, rather than actual testing on a smoking machine. The Commission also placed on the public record two different legends that could be used in advertising to disclose the ratings and sought comment on the usefulness and feasibility of these potential disclosure formats. Finally, comment was requested on alternative approaches that were considered but not proposed by the Commission. The deadline for submission of the requested comments was November 17, 1997.
The Commission has received requests for extension of this deadline from the Food and Drug Administration, the four largest cigarette manufacturers (Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris Incorporated and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company), the American Lung Association, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
In light of the importance and complexity of the issues addressed by the Commissions Federal Register notice, and the number of issues on which comment is being requested, the Commission has decided to extend the filing deadline until January 20, 1998.
By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark