As specified in the terms of agreements reached with the Federal Trade Commission last June, effective today, the seven largest U.S. cigar companies must include warnings in both their advertising and packaging about the significant adverse health risks associated with cigar use. The landmark agreements, which built on the work of many state attorneys general, particularly that of the California and Massachusetts Attorneys General, ensure that consumers nationwide will be provided with clear information about the serious health risks associated with cigar smoking.
The companies covered under the agreements represent approximately 95 percent of the U.S. cigar market, and include: Swisher International, Inc., Altadis U.S.A., Inc. (formerly, Consolidated Cigar Corporation and Havatampa, Inc.), General Cigar Holdings, Inc., John Middleton, Inc., Lane Limited, Inc. and Swedish Match North America, Inc. Under the agreements, virtually every cigar package and advertisement in the United States is required to clearly and prominently display one of the five following warnings on a rotating basis:
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigar Smoking Can Cause Cancers Of The Mouth And Throat, Even If You Do Not Inhale.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigar Smoking Can Cause Lung Cancer And Heart Disease.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Tobacco Use Increases The Risk Of Infertility, Stillbirth And Low Birth Weight.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigars Are Not A Safe Alternative To Cigarettes.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Tobacco Smoke Increases The Risk Of Lung Cancer And Heart Disease, Even In Nonsmokers.
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.
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