Tobacco Industry

As cigarettes sales in the United States decline, the three largest tobacco companies “ – Altria (Philip Morris), R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard are expanding beyond cigarettes. All three Big Tobacco companies are selling e-cigarette products and Altria is selling smokeless tobacco and cigars, while R.J. Reynolds is selling smokeless tobacco, including new dissolvable products.

Major categories of tobacco products are completed unregulated – including cigars, little cigars, e-cigarettes, hookah, pipe tobacco and some dissolvable tobacco products. The major U.S. tobacco companies and other smaller tobacco companies have rapidly expanded into this market, and have become more aggressive in pursuing state legislation in hopes of thwarting federal action. Indeed, the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey found significant increases in youth smoking of unregulated tobacco products.

Regulated by FDA

Not Regulated by FDA





Roll-Your-Own Cigarettes

Little Cigars




Pipe Tobacco


Dissolvable Tobacco Products*

*Includes dissolvable tobacco products that don’t meet the definition of smokeless tobacco

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Tobacco Industry Continues Promotion of State Pro-Smokeless and Pro E-Cigarette Bills

In an attempt to undermine public health protections in the Tobacco Control Act, Lorillard and R.J. Reynolds continued to back legislation to have states promote smokeless tobacco as a so-called “harm reduction” tool. Lorillard and others have also worked in states on legislation that would create favorable new definitions in states for electronic cigarettes and some smokeless tobacco products. Their ultimate goal appears to be to undermine Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products; prevent any tobacco taxes from being levied against these products; and/or exempt electronic cigarettes from smokefree laws. 

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Lorillard Launches Menthol Propaganda Effort

Lorillard, maker of the most popular menthol cigarette brand on the market, launched an effort to encourage state and local officials to submit comments to FDA, supplying suggested talking points to state and other officials that claim eliminating menthol cigarettes would lead to a black market and organized crime.  


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E-Cigarette Companies Use Big Tobacco Playbook to Hook Kids and Keep Smokers Addicted

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Cigar Industry Continues Its Pursuit of a Sweetheart Deal in Congress

The cigar industry and its supporters’ re-introduced legislation that would strip FDA of its authority over certain cigars, including cigars that contain flavors and that are machine made. If passed this proposal would prevent  FDA from requiring warning labels, requiring these cigars to be put behind the counters away from kids or telling cigar manufacturers to take out candy-flavors that are appealing to youth smokers.  The American Lung Association strongly opposes all such special exemptions and carve out for cigars


The American Lung Association applauds Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago’s efforts to thwart tobacco industry’s tactics to hook kids.

A March 2013 study from Bloomberg News found 12 unregulated cigar companies saved $1 billion in federal taxes by adding kitty litter to their cigars so the products would qualify for a lower tax rate.   This practice highlights the need for both tobacco tax parity and FDA authority over all tobacco products.

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The American Lung Association’s annual "State of Tobacco Control" report was released nationwide on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

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Surgeon General’s Report

Despite the great progress of the past, in the last few years, tobacco control efforts have slowed and in some areas, even stalled.

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