BAT Slammed for ‘Tattling’ on JTI Menthol Substitutes

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    Bob Blackman, chairman of the U.K. All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, has criticized British American Tobacco (BAT) for leaking information about products made by Japan Tobacco International (JTI) following the ban on menthol cigarettes sold in the European Union, reports I News.

    Blackman said he received a letter from BAT that claimed it had data showing that a new range of JTI cigarettes still contained menthol. “As I responded, their offer is completely inappropriate; their public duty is to share the evidence with the appropriate authorities without delay,” said Blackman.

    A spokesman for BAT said the group had analyzed several JTI products and found them to contain menthol characteristics.

    While admitting its new cigarettes contain menthol, JTI insisted they do not break the new laws.

    “Some JTI cigarettes and rolling tobacco sold in the U.K. do still contain very low levels of menthol,” a spokesman for JTI said. “This is not prohibited under the law, provided that the use of such flavorings does not produce a clearly noticeable smell or taste other than one of tobacco—which they do not.”

    Blackman said he had forwarded a copy of the letter to Public Health Minister Jo Churchill who responded that the issue was “being followed up” by her officials to investigate.