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    FDA Sued Again on Flavored Cigarette Ban

    HBI International claims the government agency overstepped its bounds by including separately sold rolling papers.

    WASHINGTON -- BBK Tobacco & Foods, doing business as HBI International, filed a federal lawsuit last week seeking to overturn the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) ban on flavored cigarette rolling papers sold in separate packages, according to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).

    The company is seeking to protect its brands, namely Juicy Jays and Skunk, according to a company representative quoted by the association.

    In this suit, BBK Tobacco claims the new FDA law that bans flavored cigarettes and the components does not mention that the ban extends to flavored cigarette rolling papers packaged separately.

    BBK Tobacco said in a Courthouse News Service report the FDA is trying to "expand its authority to regulate cigarettes containing 'characterizing flavors' under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act."

    It noted the law states the ban covers "a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter or paper)," but allegedly does not specify flavored papers that are sold separately. The company also notes the ban's definition of cigarette includes products that contain tobacco, and flavored paper sold separately does not include tobacco, and therefore should not be included in the ban, according to the report.

    In addition, sales of flavored papers comprise a "significant portion" of annual profits for BBK Tobacco, and the ban has had a "devastating impact" on its business. The company seeks an order declaring U.S. agencies "have no authority to regulate flavored papers sold separately under the act," and an injunction blocking the government from banning the papers, the report stated.

    Another tobacco company, Kretek Intl., the importer and distributor of the Djarum cigar brand, also filed a suit last month against the FDA, following what it claimed was the FDA's intention to exceed its legislative authority to regulate flavored cigarettes by banning other tobacco products as well.

    Related News:

    FDA Clarifies Flavored Cigarette Ban

    Kretek Sues FDA Over Flavor Ban

    House Committee Investigates Kretek, Cheyenne Intl.

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