The FDA has announced that, for the first time, it's allowing certain smokeless tobacco products to advertise that they're less risky than smoking cigarettes.
According to a news release on Tuesday, the FDA approved eight Swedish Match products sold under the brand name "General." It says the products have less of a risk of causing "mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis" than smoking tobacco.
The Swedish Match products have been allowed for sale since 2015, but they weren't allowed to advertise that they're less risky than other products.
To be clear: The FDA isn't saying these products are safe. Regulators stressed that all tobacco products are potentially harmful, but certain products could pose a lower risk. The packaging will still have the mandatory warnings that the product can cause mouth cancer, gum disease and tooth loss.
Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said anyone who doesn't already use tobacco should still refrain from starting.