Star Scientific Will Exit Tobacco Business

GLEN ALLEN, Va. -- There will soon be one less player in the tobacco industry . Star Scientific has revealed it will stop the production and sale of its dissolvable tobacco products at the end of the year.

According to the Associated Press, Star Scientific's board voted unanimously to discontinue the Ariva and Stonewall products. It had sold varieties of tobacco lozenges since 2001.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the Glen Allen, Va.-based company said it intends to focus on its dietary supplement business, according to the Associated Press. This is switch from a previous focus on research of a tobacco curing process that would prevent the formation of carcinogenic toxins in tobacco.

In its SEC filing, Star Scientific said it was motivated by "continued losses and low sales" and that restrictions that prohibit the company from making statements about the comparative health risks of tobacco products have made it "extremely difficult to effectively market" its dissolvable tobacco products. The decision is expected to generate annual savings of $1.1 million for the company, the news outlet added.

The company said it plans to look for opportunities to license its dissolvable tobacco technology.

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