PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: July 17, 2002
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRADY CALLS ON FDA TO REGULATE NEW "TOBACCO CANDY" PRODUCT
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General Jane Brady on Tuesday called on the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to halt the marketing of a dangerous new candy-like tobacco product called Ariva. Ariva resembles a small breath mint, but it delivers as much nicotine as smoking a cigarette. The product is a mint flavored, compressed tobacco powder. Virginia-based Star Scientific Inc. makes Ariva, and plans to market it nationwide.
In written comments presented Tuesday to the FDA, Brady joined 41 Attorneys General in warning that Ariva raises serious public health concerns warranting the FDA's immediate attention. The FDA was told that the marketing and packaging for Ariva falsely imply that the product is a healthy alternative to smoking, when in fact it contains toxic and cancer-causing substances. Brady and the other Attorneys General noted that Ariva is similar to nicotine water, nicotine lollipops and nicotine lip-balm, which the FDA recently determined to be unapproved drugs.
"The FDA regulates other lozenges, such as Tic Tacs. The additional health concerns with this product certainly warrant the oversight we are seeking," said Brady.
Brady expressed concern that, because the product looks like a breath mint and does not emit smoke or strong tobacco odors when used, parents and teachers might not be able to determine when a child is using this addictive and hazardous product. Although Star publicly claims that its product is for current smokers, Ariva has many features that appeal to children, including: chewing gum-style packaging and candy-like sweetness.
In addition to Brady, Attorneys General from the following states and territories co-signed the letter to the FDA: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The comment letter of the Attorneys General supports a petition calling for FDA regulation of Ariva submitted last year by numerous public health and medical organizations, including: the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Legacy Foundation and numerous other major public health organizations.