July 16, 2002
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
GENERAL CURRAN CALLS ON FDA TO REGULATE
NEW "TOBACCO CANDY" PRODUCT
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., today called on the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration to halt the marketing of a dangerous new candy-like
tobacco product called "Ariva." Ariva resembles a small
breath mint, but it delivers as much nicotine as smoking a cigarette.
The product contains compressed tobacco powder along with sweeteners,
mint and other flavorings. Virginia-based Star Scientific, Inc.
makes Ariva, and plans to market it nationwide.
is a mint-flavored, candy-like product that contains nicotine. Its
unfortunate that companies think its acceptable to make products
like Ariva, which can be appealing to children," Attorney General
In written comments presented today to the FDA, 41 Attorneys General
warned that Ariva raises serious public health concerns warranting
the FDAs immediate attention. The Attorneys General noted
that because the product looks like a breath mint and does not emit
smoke or strong tobacco odors when used, parents and educators may
not be able to determine when a child is using this addictive and
hazardous substance. Although Star publicly claims that its product
is for current smokers, Ariva has many features that appeal to children,
including chewing gum-style packaging and candy-like sweetness.
The Attorneys General told the FDA that the marketing and packaging
for Ariva falsely implies that the product is a healthy alternative
to smoking, when in fact it contains toxic and cancer-causing substances.
The Attorneys General noted that Ariva is similar to nicotine water,
nicotine lollipops and nicotine lip-balm, which the FDA recently
regulated as illegal drugs.
and Attorneys General from the following states and territories,
co-signed the FDA letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee,
Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Attorneys General comment letter supports a petition calling
for FDA regulation of Ariva submitted last year by numerous public
health and medical organizations, including: the National Center
for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Medical Association, the American
Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung
Association, the American Legacy Foundation and numerous other major
public health organizations.
1999, Curran urged federal officials and Congressional representatives
to take action to stop the importation of hand-rolled, candy-flavored
cigarettes called Bidis, which were manufactured primarily in India.
And, in 2000, Currans Consumer Protection Division issued
cease and desist orders to halt the sale of Bidis to children via
information about Marylands lawsuit against Big Tobacco and
the Attorney Generals initiative to curb youth access to tobacco
products in Marylands retail stores, can be found at www.oag.state.md.us.