A group of Senators is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate so-called “tobacco candy” products.

The group, led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sent a letter to the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to reverse a recent decision that they believe could open the door to the possible sale of tobacco candy.

Specifically, the senators cite CTP’s decision not to regulate Star Scientific products, which makes smokeless tobacco products Ariva-BDL and Stonewall-BDL, under Chapter IX requirements.

“This failure to immediately regulate such products as smokeless tobacco creates a dangerous loophole,” the letter reads.

The Senators expressed concern that this determination could encourage other tobacco manufactures to create flavored, dissolvable tobacco candy. Specifically, they pointed to another tobacco manufacturer, R. J. Reynolds’, which recently reintroduced the Camel products “Sticks”, “Strips” and “Orbs,” in Charlotte, N.C., and Denver, Colo.

The group also pointed to Altria, a company test marketing a “smokeless tobacco stick” in Kansas City, Mo.

“The recent proliferation of dissolvable tobacco products – which can easily end up in the hands of children – in the marketplace, makes FDA’s decision particularly disturbing,” they wrote.
“Given the compelling evidence that these products pose an immediate and significant healthy risk to children, we urge CTP to reconsider its decision that certain dissolvable tobacco products are outside CTP’s current authority,” the letter reads.

The letter was released in the same week that FDA recently newly redesigned warning labels for cigarettes that feature graphic images such a cadaver with the words “Cigarettes can kill you.”

For more information, visit http://www.merkley.senate.gov/