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Groups Urge Federal Action Against Eclipse Cigarettes

Groups Urge Federal Action Against Eclipse Cigarettes

WASHINGTON—Twenty-two public health organizations have again called on the federal government to initiate action against R.J. Reynolds Co. to stop it from making unsubstantiated health-related claims about its Eclipse cigarette.

In separate letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the FDA, and the Federal Trade Commission, the groups contended that a failure to act "is tantamount to a license to Reynolds and other tobacco companies to make unsubstantiated and unproven health claims with impunity and without fear of federal oversight."

In their letter to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, the health organizations cited a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that none of the so-called reduced risk tobacco products have proven less hazardous than standard cigarettes.

Eclipse uses a charcoal heat source containing a small amount of tobacco at its tip, which burns. The heat from the burning tip passes through a length of tobacco, which doesn’t burn, and glycerin, which vaporizes. The result is smoke and flavor reaching the smoker.

R.J. Reynolds has claimed that Eclipse has 80% fewer carcinogens in its smoke than do ultralight cigarettes. It currently markets Eclipse in several sections of the country.

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