The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Product Advisory Committee (TPSAC) has agreed that using Altria’s Copenhagen snuff is safer than smoking cigarettes, according to a report in Medpage Today.

Following a Feb. 6-7 hearing, the TPSAC voted 8-0, with one abstention, that Altria’s proposed modified-risk claim for Copenhagen snuff is scientifically accurate.

Altria had asked the FDA for permission to print the following text on the Copenhagen product label: “IF YOU SMOKE CONSIDER THIS: Switching completely to this product from cigarettes reduces risk of lung cancer.”

According to Altria, many smokers erroneously believe that smokeless tobacco products are as harmful or more harmful than cigarettes.

During its hearings, the TPSAC also discussed Swedish Match’s modified-risk tobacco product (MRTP) application for General snus. Several panel members reportedly hesitated to support the MRTP designation because they feared it could make snus more attractive to young people.

As of late last year, federal health officials had denied or delayed close to 20 MRTP applications from mostly smokeless products.

The FDA is not obliged to follow TPSAC recommendations, but it usually does.

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