Star Scientific to Seek FDA OK for Reduced Risk Tobacco Products

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Star Scientific to Seek FDA OK for Reduced Risk Tobacco Products

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Tobacco company Star Scientific Inc. wants to be the first company to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell "modified-risk" tobacco products, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The company, which makes smokeless, dissolvable tobacco products, told the paper it plans to seek approval next year to market its products as potentially less risky to consumers' health.

Star did not provide details about any new products, but company spokeswoman Sara Machir told the Times-Dispatch one would be similar to the dissolvable, lozenge-like smokeless tobacco products made under the Stonewall and Ariva brand names.

"What would distinguish it is the even significantly lower nitrosamine levels," she told the paper. Nitrosamines are cancer-causing agents considered by some researchers to be the most harmful agent in smokeless tobacco, according to the report. Star obtained a patent in 2001 for a tobacco-curing process that reduces nitrosamines, the report stated. Now, the company claims to have developed a new method for cultivation, curing and preparation of tobacco that further reduces nitrosamine levels.

With the passage of legislation earlier this year that gives the FDA authority to regulate the tobacco industry, tobacco companies can now submit products for scientific review by the FDA for approval to be marketed as "modified-risk."

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