(CN) – Federal regulators ordered R.J. Reynolds to stop selling four new cigarette brands, including Camel Crush Bold, citing them as possibly more harmful than other brands to consumers.
The Food and Drug Administration’s review affects the Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes.
Finding each brand “not substantially equivalent” to their respective predicate products, regulators said this factor raises the possibility that they may be more harmful to public health.
The Camel Crush Bold adds a menthol capsule in the filter, for example, a change that may give smokers a higher delivery of menthol when they inhale.
The addition of the menthol capsule, and potentially other sweeteners or additives to make the tobacco taste less bitter, may also change the appeal of the cigarettes, the FDA noted.
“These decisions were based on a rigorous, science-based review designed to protect the public from the harms caused by tobacco use,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement . “The agency will continue to review product submissions and exercise its legal authority and consumer protection duty to remove products from the market when they fail to meet the public health bar set forth under law.”
Retailers that sell the four newly flagged brands of cigarettes must stop selling them immediately, and remove the products from their inventories within 30 days.
R. J. Reynolds said it “strongly disagrees” with the decision.
“Our submissions to the agency on these brands were comprehensive, and we believe we effectively demonstrated substantial equivalence,” said Jeffery Gentry, the company’s executive vice president for operations and chief scientific officer, in the statement.
The banned products make up less than 1 percent of R.J. Reynold’s sales, so the order is unlikely to cause major financial difficulties for the company.
R.J. Reynold’s share price fell slightly Tuesday on the news, but traded higher Wednesday.
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