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FTC TESTIFIED AT HEARING ON POTENTIAL REDUCED RISK TOBACCO PRODUCTS
FTC "is committed to reviewing advertising for reduced risk
tobacco products on a case-by-case basis to try to ensure that the
information consumers receive about reduced risk products is truthful
and non-misleading." So said Timothy J. Muris, FTC Chairman, at a
hearing before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer
Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of
Representatives. His testimony pointed out that tobacco use in the
U.S. continues to cause substantial health risks. "Products that
could significantly reduce those risks could provide a substantial
health benefit. ... At the same time, consumers may be injured if
advertisers make harm reduction claims that turn out to be untrue or
that exaggerate the benefits or safety of their products."
FTC testimony discussed the agency's mission, its activities in
tobacco advertising and marketing, and then addressed the process the
Commission would use in examining the advertising of potential
reduced risk tobacco products.
In the context of advertising or marketing claims for potential
reduced risk products, the testimony noted that FTC--
would consider whether the harm reduction claims were likely to
mislead reasonable consumers using the same legal framework that it
uses for all consumer products. Thus, the first question that the
Commission would address is what messages consumers take from the
advertising in question. This analysis would include consideration of
whether claims about a reduction in carcinogens and toxins in the
product convey risk reduction messages and whether consumers might
take away from a harm reduction claim the message that the product
was not just safer but that it poses no risk or only a minimal risk.
The next question the Commission would address is whether the
conveyed risk reduction claims are truthful and substantiated.
NOTE: The views expressed in the written testimony represent the
views of the FTC. The oral presentation and responses to questions do
not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or any individual
Commissioner. The Commission vote authorizing the testimony was 5-0.
(Prepared Statement of the Federal Trade Commission Concerning the
Potential Advertising of Reduced Risk Tobacco Products, Presented by
Chairman Timothy J. Muris Before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade,
and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce,
United States House of Representatives, June 3, 2003.)
FTC's ANNUAL REPORT: CIGARETTE SALES DOWN, ADVERTISING UP FOR 2001
Cigarette sales by manufacturers to wholesalers and retailers
for 2001 decreased 3.8% percent from 2000 levels, while advertising
and promotional expenditures increased significantly. Those are the
main points in FTC's annual report on cigarette sales and advertising
According to the report, the six largest cigarette manufacturers
spent $11.22 billion on advertising and promotional expenditures in
2001. That's a 17% increase from the $9.59 billion spent in 2000. The
industry's total expenditures were the most ever reported to FTC.
The major manufacturers also spent $79.4 million in 2001 on ads
directed to youth or their parents that were intended to reduce youth
(Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2001, FTC Matter No.
022 3224, June 12, 2003.)
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JLCom Publishing Co., L.L.C. is the publisher of Advertising Compliance Service. For over 34 years (1981-2015),Advertising Compliance Service was the authoritative - and comprehensive - source of information for advertising law practitioners, advertisers and advertising agencies -- and their attorneys. One of the 27 advertising law-related topics that were regularly covered by this newsletter/reference service was found in Tab #1, the Bulletin section, and is entitled, "Brief News of Note."
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