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Smokeless tobacco recall could lead to products liability claims

Anti-tobacco advocates warn users of smokeless tobacco that it could be dangerous. Those advocates might be right after a unit of Altria -- U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company -- issued a recall for several of its products sold across the country, including here in Pennsylvania. It is not yet known whether users of the products connected with the recall will file any products liability claims.

The company received complaints that sharp metal pieces were found in some of its products. The reports so far come from six states. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company provides products for brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal. More than 40 brands of smokeless tobacco are affected by the recall. All of the affected products were produced in one facility.

Pennsylvania is not on the list of states from which the complaints came, but that does not mean that a tainted product could not be purchased here. Consumers can verify whether the product they purchase is included in the recall at Altria's website or U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company's website. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was informed of the recall as well. In addition, any injuries that might be attributed to a recalled product should be documented and reported.

Consumers rely on companies to produce safe products. Even with the inherent dangers of tobacco use, consumers of these products deserve for them to be as safe as possible. The potential for serious injuries from any one of the recalled products produced by the company could lead to products liability claims.

Source: USA Today, "Sharp metal pieces in smokeless tobacco prompt recall", Feb. 2, 2017

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