The war on cigarettes has taken another step forward. The FDA has announced a ban on cigarettes, in effect starting today, that are “flavored” like any fruit, candy, or clove as part of the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
Ninety percent of adult smokers started smoking when they were teenagers, so the FDA’s logic says that making cigarettes less appealing should keep more people form smoking. Likewise, 17 year old smokers are three times as likely as adult smokers to use flavored cigarettes.
The FDA has sent letters to tobacco industry officials explaining the law, and warning of stern penalties for those who continue to defy it.
“Youth are twice as likely to report seeing advertising for these flavored products as adults are,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a pediatrician and the FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner. “Marketing campaigns for products with sweet candy and fruit flavors can mislead young people into thinking that these products are less addictive and less harmful.”
The FDA is also looking into regulating menthol cigarettes as well as other flavored tobacco products.