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Tobacco maker bars animals in tests

RICHMOND — The third-biggest tobacco company in the United States said it is banning animal testing, following discussions with an animal rights group.

Lorillard Inc. confirmed the policy change on Monday.

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The Greensboro, N.C.-based maker of Newport cigarettes said that it won’t conduct or commission any animal research unless it’s necessary to meet regulatory requirements.

Lorillard also said it has not done any animal testing in about three years.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said it has shareholder proposals pending with Reynolds American Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc. and that it’s talking with Richmond-based Altria Group, owner of the nation’s biggest tobacco company, Philip Morris USA.

PETA cites industry studies in which animals were forced to inhale cigarette smoke, eat tobacco, and have cigarette tar painted on their skin.

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