Marlboro Light Package Onserts Get FDA Attention

WASHINGTON – With new packaging laws going into effect June 22, prohibiting words such as "light" and "mild" from appearing on cigarette packs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week ordered cigarette maker Philip Morris turn over all market research material on Marlboro Lights, citing concern over an advertisement for the brand, Reuters reported.

In a letter to Philip Morris parent company Altria Group Inc., the FDA said it was concerned about "onserts" attached to packs of Marlboro Lights. The advertising reads: "Your Marlboro Lights package is changing, but your cigarette stays the same" and "In the future, ask for 'Marlboro in the gold pack,'" according to published reports.

"By stating that only the packaging is changing, but the cigarettes will stay the same, the onsert suggests that Marlboro in the gold pack will have the same characteristics as Marlboro Lights, including any mistaken attributes associated with the 'light' cigarettes," read the FDA letter cited by Reuters.

Altria must submit by July 30 all materials related to the marketing or sale of Marlboro Lights, including themes, creative recommendations and dissemination strategies, according to the report.

Altria spokesman Bill Phelps told Reuters: "We received the letter today and we're reviewing it and we will respond."

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