Reynolds Sues California Officials to Protect Non-Menthol Products

The lawsuit, filed in California state court, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.

May 12, 2023

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—Reynolds has announced that its subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT), has filed a lawsuit against California state officials, including Attorney General Robert Bonta, in response to the Attorney General’s issuance of several Notices of Determination that allege certain Camel and Newport cigarettes styles are “presumptively” flavored based on their promotional materials. The lawsuit, filed in California state court, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, including that the Notices be rescinded.

“RJRT stands by its new products and believes that they comply with California state law and therefore can continue to be sold. Before introducing the products for sale, RJRT followed all applicable pre-market regulatory requirements,” said Reynolds in a statement.

Reynolds says that the new Camel and Newport styles do not impart a distinguishable taste or aroma other than tobacco and are marketed to clearly indicate that they are non-menthol. The California Attorney General’s notices do not acknowledge the fact that RJRT’s new product introductions are prominently labeled and marketed as non-menthol, according to Reynolds.

Reynolds has repeatedly called on enforcement officials in California to take action to combat the flood of illegal, unregulated, disposable vapes in kid-friendly flavors like Watermelon Bubble Gum and Rainbow Candy that are being shipped into the state’s ports from unknown origins.

“Prioritizing enforcement of these illicit vapor products, rather than focusing on compliant products, would better serve Californians,” wrote Reynolds.