American Cancer Society Calls for Removal of Eclipse Cigarette From Marketplace

American Cancer Society
Saturday, 14 October 2000

The American Cancer Society, the nation's leading voluntary health organization, today called on the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to withdraw its new Eclipse brand "ultra light" cigarette from the market. John R. Kelly, Ph.D., national volunteer, Chairman of the Board of the American Cancer Society, says study results show R.J. Reynolds' Eclipse cigarette may be more lethal than other low-tar cigarettes already on the market. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health commissioned the independent study that found Eclipse smokers were exposed to greater amounts of cancer-causing chemicals compared to existing low-tar cigarette brands Now and Carlton.

"RJR's health claims on the Eclipse cigarette are ludicrous," said Dr. Kelly. "This study validates what we already knew to be true RJR's Eclipse cigarette is nothing more than a cancer-causing nicotine delivery device. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society, accounting for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. The extremely high level of cancer-causing chemicals found from smoking Eclipse, despite a slick marketing campaign designed to fool people into thinking Eclipse is a safe alternative, leads one to believe RJR is more concerned with their profits than the public's health.

"Confirming the legitimacy of health claims made by RJR that Eclipse produces fewer dangerous constituents cannot be trusted to tobacco industry scientists alone. We believe RJR is trying to take advantage of the fact that the average American and the average tobacco consumer does not realize that tobacco is an unregulated product. The American public deserves to know the truth about this harmful product.

"The study we are releasing today also provides further evidence that we need full accountability from an industry whose product, when used as intended, cause addiction, disease and death. Only Congress has the power to grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meaningful authority to regulate tobacco manufacturing, sales and marketing, including health claims. Until then, we urge RJR to stop making their false health claims and instead allow their product to be independently reviewed and tested."

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.

For more information, or to contact American Cancer Society, see their website at: www.cancer.org

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