The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on cigarettes with flavors characterizing fruit, candy, or clove. The ban, authorized by the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is part of a national effort by the FDA to reduce smoking in America. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in America.
The FDA’s ban on candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes, effective today, highlights the importance of reducing the number of children who start to smoke, and who become addicted to dangerous tobacco products. The FDA is also examining options for regulating both menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes.
“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, M.D. “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.”
Flavors make cigarettes and other tobacco products more appealing to youth. Studies have shown 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,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H. “The FDA’s ban on these cigarettes will break that cycle for the more than 3,600 young people who start smoking daily.”