Cigarette makers said to hide toxic materials by 'natural' claims

Does it really matter what claims a label makes? According to the Food and Drug Administration, the wording on a package or label can make a world of difference in how consumers expect a product to be. Although most Ohio consumers understand that smoking is not a healthy habit, some cigarette labels could be misleading the public to believe that toxic materials are not present.

Natural American Spirit, Nat Sherman and Winston cigarettes all received a hefty warning from the FDA. The three different companies were all warned to stop using the terms additive-free and natural on their labels unless their cigarettes are able to pass regulatory approval. Any type of claim that could lead a consumer to believe that one cigarette is inherently safer than another is first required to be proven true scientifically.

This is not the first time that the FDA has warned tobacco companies for the misuse of certain terms on their packaging. In 2009, the FDA stepped in to regulate tobacco manufacturers after the industry had begun to use clever wording in an attempt to lead consumers to the conclusion that certain cigarettes were safe alternatives. While Nat Sherman has not released a statement in regard to the warning, Winston's manufacturer -- ITG Brands -- claims that the FDA is wrong, and that the current packaging it uses is up-to-date with the law.

While some claims of product liability arise from an inherently flawed design or defect in the manufacturing process, misleading advertising is not entirely uncommon. When companies and manufacturers of products that contain toxic materials attempt to downplay the risks and side effects of their products, it is the consumer who must ultimately pay the price. Ohio consumers who have been injured or suffered a serious illness after a dangerous item was improperly advertised might have legal standing to pursue a products liability suit against the company responsible.

Source: newsmax.com, "FDA Warns Cigarette Makers Over 'Natural' Claims", Aug. 27, 2015

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