September 22, 2009

FDA Bans Candy Flavored Cigarettes

The FDA on Tuesday announced a ban on cigarettes containing candy or fruit flavors in an effort to lower the smoking rate in America.

The US Food and Drug Administration's latest announcement comes as another move in the overall effort to keep children from picking up the habit of smoking.

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act states: "a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke."

The FDA said that any company that produces, ships or sells these products may be subject to FDA enforcement actions.

"Almost 90 percent of adult smokers start smoking as teenagers. These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers," said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg.

"The FDA will utilize regulatory authority to reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco products to enhance our Nation's public health."

An FDA press statement cited studies showing that 17-year-old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25.

"Flavored cigarettes attract and allure kids into lifetime addiction," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, said in a statement. "FDA's ban on these cigarettes will break that cycle for the more than 3,600 young people who start smoking daily."

The FDA adds that it is also looking into possibly banning menthol and flavored tobacco products beyond simply cigarettes.


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