HEALTH

FDA appeals preliminary injunction of new anti-smoking packaging graphics

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday appealed a recent District Court ruling that had placed a preliminary injunction on new, graphic anti-smoking messages that were to be placed on cigarette packaging as of September 2012. The five tobacco company plaintiffs argued that the mandated graphics violate the First Amendment.

The appeal moves the case to to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The FDA on Oct. 21 had filed a motion for summary judgement, asserting that the tobacco companies had no basis for their First Amendment violation claims.

"Congress does not infringe on protected First Amendment interests when it requires accurate disclosures in marketing," the agency stated in a memorandum supporting its motion. "Only by ignoring the findings of Congress, the courts, and countless public health officials, can plaintiffs discount the compelling governmental interest in communicating health risks to consumers and potential consumers of their product — including the underage and often undereducated persons who constitute the bulk of their new clientele. And only by ignoring the record before Congress, and the overwhelming international consensus of public health officials, can plaintiffs attempt to claim that a text-only disclosure of the same size as the current surgeon general warnings could communicate the health risks of smoking as effectively as the revised warnings prescribed by Congress."

The new anti-smoking graphics were required to cover the top half of the front and back of cigarette packs and 20% of printed advertisements and depicted the health consequences of smoking, including graphic images of diseased organs and dead bodies.


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Schiff names former eBay COO to board

BY Michael Johnsen

SALT LAKE CITY — Schiff Nutrition on Tuesday appointed Brian Swette to its board of directors.

“Brian’s combination of consumer marketing, e-commerce and business operations experience will be valuable assets to Schiff as we pursue our growth strategy, especially our plan to build premium brands,” Schiff Nutrition president and CEO Tarang Amin said.

Swette serves on the board of directors of Jamba, Care.com, The FRS Co. and Shutterfly. He previously served on the boards of Burger King and TheLadders.com.

Swette formerly was eBay’s COO, where he oversaw international expansion, marketing and customer support initiatives. Prior to joining eBay, Swette was EVP and chief marketing officer for Pepsi-Cola. During his 17-year tenure, he was responsible for the worldwide marketing and advertising efforts for all Pepsi-Cola brands, oversaw business strategy, brand architecture and new product activity.

Swette holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Arizona State University.


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Warmer winter weather could prompt slow cold season

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The short-term forecast for cold weather items, including cold medicines, is that demand could be down as much as 15% without Jack Frost biting at everyone’s nose, according to analysis from Deutsche Bank published Monday.

Weather Trends International estimates temperatures will be up 2 to 5 degrees warmer year-over-year, on average, over the balance of the year across the United States.

“Typically, a rise of about 3 degrees nationally from last year, will translate into a 10% to 15% decline in demand for heavy outerwear, sweaters and cold medicine,” Deutsche retail analyst Charles Grom said. With warmer weather, more people are outdoors, leaving their winter coats, sweaters and exposure to sick people indoors.


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