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    Swedish Match to Fight Suit

    Smokeless tobacco maker doubts any of the allegations "can be substantiated."

    STOCKHOLM -- Tobacco products maker Swedish Match AB said it has been named in a class-action lawsuit in the United States. The suit was filed earlier this week at a local court in Miami, Swedish Match spokesman Bo Aulin said. Six plaintiffs are seeking damages from a total of five companies or organizations for a variety of alleged health conditions stemming from the use of smokeless tobacco, Aulin said.

    The medical conditions range from oral cancer to tooth decay and bad breath. Aulin said Swedish Match believes the claims are without merit and will be thrown out by the court. "We believe that none of the allegations can be substantiated by the scientific findings," he said.

    "We're well prepared for it.?We're not concerned that this will have any detrimental economic effect on us," Aulin said.

    The claims against Swedish Match center on its Red Man brand of chewing tobacco. The Smokeless Tobacco Council Inc., a trade organization, is one of the other groups named, Aulin said. Swedish Match sold its cigarette operations in 1999.

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