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American Legacy Foundation(R) Statement of Support for the Federal Trade Commission Reversal on Tar and Nicotine Yield Statements on Cigarettes
Date:7/8/2008

Statement by Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO, The American Legacy Foundation

WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Federal Trade Commission proposed to withdraw a guidance it created in 1966 that allowed tobacco companies to market their products using tar and nicotine numbers based on the "Cambridge Testing Method," or "FTC Test method."

The American Legacy Foundation(R) commends the FTC for its proposal to prohibit tobacco companies from claiming it endorses the thoroughly discredited "Cambridge Testing Method" for determining tar and nicotine content in cigarettes.

The tobacco companies have used the test and the claim of FTC endorsement to successfully market and sell so-called "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes to millions of smokers under the pretense that they are less dangerous, when in fact, they have known for years that these products are no safer than traditional cigarettes.

The fraudulent marketing of light cigarettes was one of the key elements of the U.S. District Court's decision that the tobacco companies had violated federal racketeering laws.

After they first came on the market in the 1960's, "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes continually grew in popularity and according to the National Cancer Institute, in 2001, these cigarettes represented 97 percent of all cigarette sales in America.

Due to the seriousness of the problem, we urge the next step to be taken and the use of light and low tar and similar descriptors be prohibited altogether.

The American Legacy Foundation(R) is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation's programs include truth(R), a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX(R), an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use; and a nationally-renowned program of outreach to priority populations. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit http://www.americanlegacy.org.


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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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