FDA Questions Lorillard’s Menthol Cigarettes

On Monday, Lorillard Inc., the nation's third-biggest cigarette maker, announced its second-quarter results. Its net income plunged by 8% that was caused by falling volumes and increasing promotional costs.

The Company captures a 35% market share of the U. S menthol cigarette market. Newport is its best-selling brand and it is giving a tough competition to the other players prevalent in the market.

Menthol cigarettes are getting popular in the state with all the age groups including children even. U. S. Food and Drug Administration's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee wants to keep a track on the consequences of the consumption of such cigarettes.

Martin Orlowsky, CEO of Lorillard Inc., talked about the FDA panel's review of menthol in a conference call with analysts on Monday.

The committee has been conducting meetings on this issue. Two meetings have already been held. They are also collecting information regarding the same from the industry on scientific studies and marketing of menthol. The committee has to make recommendations to the FDA on the consumption of menthol by the end of March, next year. Till then, such more meetings will be continued to be held.

FDA may make some changes in the marketing of the menthol cigarettes that include changing the warning labels or tumbling the amount of menthol in cigarettes. But a ban is not probably to be taken.

As expressed by Lorillard, there are no scientific proofs that menthol cigarettes pose greater risk to health than the ordinary ones. Also, if a ban is exercised, people will be buying the same in black.