Commonwealth Brands, Inc. Says FDA Regulation Represents a Lost Opportunity

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., June 23 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday June 22, 2009 the White House signed a Bill that now gives the authority to oversee the tobacco industry to the FDA. This piece of legislation had been in the works since 1996 and has had very little change before becoming a Law yesterday.

“It is a great disappointment that this Congress, which claimed to be so different and supposedly heralded a new era for the United States has seen fit to enact legislation that is over a decade old.”

Commonwealth Brands

Commonwealth Brands

A spokesperson for Commonwealth Brands, Inc., the manufacturer of USA Gold cigarettes, stated that, “the enactment of this law represents a golden opportunity lost. Congress has passed up a unique chance to develop a regulatory framework for the tobacco industry that could have been effective, efficient and proportionate. Instead, this law will only serve to threaten the survival of small manufacturers, and punish their law abiding, hard working consumers. At the same time it will reward big tobacco companies, whose practices were the genesis for this legislation. In short, the additional cost of complying with this law will hurt the very people that the government claimed to be helping.”

“Instead of responsibly regulating tobacco manufacturers and recognizing the legal rights of adult consumers that choose to smoke, this law, will serve to further fuel the growing illicit trade problem in the USA. Smuggled and counterfeit products hurt consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the government alike. Giving the FDA authority over the tobacco industry is one thing, but trying to address modern day concerns with outdated legislation and ignoring the impact of this on society as a whole is quite another.”

Commonwealth Brands, Inc. is the fourth largest tobacco manufacturer in the United States. Its cigarettes include Davidoff, Sonoma, Montclair and USA Gold, one of the nation’s best selling brands*. Its portfolio of fine tobaccos consists of the Premier, McClintock, Rave and Bali Shag brands. The Company also manufactures a range of tobacco related products, which include Premier, Rizla, and El Rey cigarette tubes and E-Z Wider and Joker cigarette papers. Commonwealth Brands, Inc. is based in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and employs over 900 people across 50 States. The Company is committed to its employees, its brands and its consumers.

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