Snuffed Out: U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Recall

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on February 02, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Altria, née Philip Morris, is probably looking at a big dip in sales following a voluntary recall of some of its smokeless tobacco products after consumers found sharp metal objects in some cans. Although the company insists no users were injured from the foreign metal objects, the recall includes products from some of the corporation's most recognizable brands: Skoal and Copenhagen.

Here's what you need to know:

Where There's Smokeless...

U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., a subsidiary of Altria, instituted the recall of tobacco products manufactured at its Franklin Park, Illinois facility. A list of the affected products is available from Altria's website, and includes Copenhagen's Long Cut Mint and Southern Blend, as well products available only to military personnel overseas or for sale only in Alaska and Hawaii. More numerous are the Skoal products involved in the recall, including Long Cut Berry Tobacco Blend, Pouch Apple Tobacco Blend, Snus Smooth Mint, and Xtra Pouch Mint Blend.

According to the company's press release:

USSTC initiated the recall after receiving eight consumer complaints of foreign metal objects, including sharp metal objects, found in select cans. In each case, the object was visible to the consumer and there have been no reports of consumer injury. Complaints have been received from consumers in Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Tainted Tobacco

USSTC did not speculate on how the sharp metal objects found their way into the cans and pouches of smokeless tobacco, but did say that it notified the Food and Drug Administration regarding the recall and is "working closely with federal authorities to investigate."

"We appreciate our consumers' patience and loyalty while we work through this matter," said President and CEO Brian W. Quigley said, via the company's website. Users concerned about contaminated containers should consult the site for the latest list of recalled products, and USSTC directs consumers to return the product for a refund.

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