FDA Stops Sale of Sutra Bidis Cigarettes

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February 21 — In a first for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the sale of four tobacco products on store shelves was snuffed out today.

The FDA ordered retailers to stop selling four types of Sutra-branded cigarettes.

The agency took action against the hand-rolled cigarettes, known as bidis, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Sutra Bidis Red, Sutra Bidis Menthol, Sutra Bidis Red Cone, and Sutra Bidis Menthol Cone do not meet the standards for commercially marketed tobacco, so they can no longer be imported into the United States.

Jenny Haliski, a spokesperson with the FDA says the cigarette’s manufacturer, Jash International — an Indian company with offices in East-Dundee, Ill. — did not provide enough information for federal officials to determine if the product met public health standards.

“Today is the first time that we’re saying that a currently-marketed product can no longer be marketed or sold,” Haliski says. “So, it’s not a situation where a product is not safe anymore or that it’s been recalled. It’s a case of the company not meeting the requirements under the law.”

Experts say the law gives federal officials oversight traditionally toted by tobacco companies.

“The Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA, a science-based regulatory agency, the authority to review applications and determine which new tobacco products may be sold and distributed under the law in order to protect public health.” says Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Haliski says Jash had an application pending with the FDA, so they were allowed to market the product, but the FDA now considers the cigarettes “misbranded and unadulterated.”

The FDA says it is working with the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to conduct inspections statewide to make sure storeowners are clearing the cigarettes off area store shelves.

She confirms letters went out to retailers warning them about the product and says they have thirty days to rid their store of the inventory.

Consumers can find a form to report suspected tobacco violations on the FDA’s website.

By: Hilary Powell


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One response to “FDA Stops Sale of Sutra Bidis Cigarettes”

  1. Bringing the FDA into tobacco control and also using it to go after e-cigs is a very clever strategic move since an “administrative agency” like the FDA can get around the fundamental protections of our Constitution in a way that Congress and the President wouldn’t be forbidden to. Note that the rationale is that the bidis are claimed to be “misbranded and unadulterated.” Huh? I thought “unadulterated” was supposed to be a GOOD thing??? Does the FDA now approve only adulterated products?

    We’re going to be seeing an increased emphasis on outdoor bans, particularly on college campuses, a stronger move to ban smoking in all multi-unit apartment housing, and then a move toward taking children from smoking parents. In California they’re already talking about the “plague” of thirdhand smoke that children are “suffering from” due to parents who smoke outside and then “bring poisons back into the home on their clothing and skin.”

    Something needs to be done to stop these people. When we see a social movement that seeks to scare parents into not allowing their children to visit with grandparents on Christmas because of the “poison” on their carpeting, when we see a movement that shrugs off the closure of tens of thousands of pubs and the firings/layoffs of hundreds of thousands of workers, when we see a movement that promotes the hatred, denormalization, dehumanization, and ghettoization of hundreds of millions of human beings… then we see a movement that needs to be stopped.

    To gain a better understanding of just how this sort of thing can grow, how baseless its claims are, and how serious it can become, read the “Author’s Preface” at and you’ll see why I feel so strongly on this subject.

    – MJM

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