The nation’s largest tobacco subsidiaries have dropped a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that challenged the agency’s recent efforts to assert authority over labels on tobacco products.
Altria Group, Inc., Reynolds American Inc. and Lorillard Inc. said in a court filing that they were dropping the suit because the FDA announced last week that it will review a policy that would have required tobacco companies to gain federal approval for tobacco products if they chose to alter the packaging by switching a background color from red to green, changing a logo or adding words such as “premium tobacco.” The government said it will hold off on the policy until it determines whether to revise or preserve it, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The lawsuit was filed in April in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to challenge the policy. Altria, Reynolds and Lorillard alleged the 2009 Tobacco Control Act restricted the FDA from preapproving the labels on Marlboro, Camel and Newport cigarettes. The act gave the agency authority to regulate tobacco. The companies maintained that they should be free to change the color or look of tobacco packaging any way they saw fit, WSJ reported.
The companies did not challenge the required surgeon general’s warning labels that warn about the health risks of smoking. The subsidiaries called on the FDA to go through a “notice-and-comment rule making” process before
The suit did not challenge the surgeon general’s warning labels, which are required by law and warn about the health risks of smoking. The companies urged the FDA to go through a “notice-and-comment rule making” process before dispensing new policies. The agency will be reviewing comments from tobacco companies and others throughout the duration of the evaluation, a spokesman told WSJ.