updated - October 21, 2018 Sunday EDT
Lorillard Tobacco Company announced on Monday it has banned animal testing after conversations with animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The discussions focused on industrial studies in which animals were forced to eat tobacco, inhale cigarette smoke and have cigarette tar painted on their skin, according to Associated Press.
PETA stated the animals tested on were intentionally bred to have an increased risk of cancer, Associated Press reported. The animals were killed and dissected at the end of the experiments.
Lorillard posted the new policy regarding animal testing on their website, The Business Journals reported. The policy states Lorillard researchers, "will use scientifically accepted or validated alternative test methods and technologies that avoid the use of animals. Such methods and tests may include in vitro cell culture tests, advanced chemistry tests and computer modeling programs."
Lorillard is the largest tobacco company in the U.S. to end animal testing, and is the second biggest after Imperial Tobacco, according to The Business Journals. PETA Director Justin Goodman said Lorillard's decision is a huge step in PETA's goal of ending animal testing.
"Lorillard's progressive new policy banning tests on animals establishes it as an industry leader that is embracing modern science instead of traditional animal testing," Goodman said. "PETA is actively urging other tobacco companies to follow Lorillard's lead."
PETA is pushing other tobacco companies to end their animal testings, Associated Press reported. PETA is having discussions with Reynolds American Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc., the seller of Marlboro cigarettes, about the issue.
Philip Morris International stated on its website it uses animal testing when no other alternatives are available and ensures that the animals are treated with the best of care, according to Associated Press.
Reynolds made a similar statement, The Business Journals reported. The company said it "must reserve the flexibility to perform animal testing" if it is necessary for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve their products.
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