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Flavored-Cigarette Ban Takes Effect, With More to Come

FDA ban on flavored cigarettes goes into effect, with more restrictions to come.

BY Lacey Meyer
PUBLISHED December 23, 2009

According to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, almost 90 percent of adult smokers start smoking when they’re teenagers, and candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes are a gateway for them to become regular tobacco users. 

Since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) of 2009 was signed into law in June, which provides the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products, a number of changes have gone into effect, including a ban on candy, clove, or other flavored cigarettes. However, the ban, which took effect in late September, does not include menthol cigarettes or flavored tobacco other than cigarettes (for example, cigars), but the FDA is examining options for regulating these products. (See the full list of banned flavors and products at www.fda.gov/flavoredtobacco.

During a media briefing about the flavored cigarette ban, Lawrence Deyton, MD, director of the FDA’s new Center for Tobacco Products, said that about 3,600 people ages 12 to 17 “initiate cigarette smoking” each day in the U.S. and an estimated 1,100 young people become daily cigarette smokers. “The reason for this [ban] is such an important step,” Deyton said. “It is to protect our children from initiating tobacco use.”

The next big step is for tobacco manufacturers and importers to submit information to the FDA by January 2010 about ingredients and additives in tobacco products. Other aspects of the law aimed at reducing access and appeal of tobacco for youths, including restrictions on marketing and advertising, go into effect beginning in summer 2010.

For more details about the FSPTCA, visit www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts.

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