Thursday, September 24, 2009

Flavored Cigarettes Banned in United States

A ban on the U.S. manufacture, shipping, and sale of flavored cigarettes went into effect this past Tuesday, September 22. The ban on candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes is part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (HR 1256) that was signed into law in June by President Obama. This legislation, enforced by the Food and Drug Administration, is an attempt to cut down on the number of children who start smoking after being attracted to these flavored tobacco products. This FDA fact sheet provides some statistics on the number of young smokers who use flavored cigarettes.

The Washington Post reports that one notable exception to this ban is menthol cigarettes, which will remain legal. The Post article notes that menthol cigarettes are a "significant source of revenue for tobacco companies," but if you search for the keyword "menthol" on the FDA's Flavored Tobacco web pages or in HR 1256, you will not find an explanation of why menthol is excluded from the ban. To find better information on what, exactly, has been reported to Congress about menthol cigarettes, you'll want to take a look at congressional hearings associated with HR 1256:

Need more government resources related to tobacco products? Take a look at our guide.

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