Starting with September 21st, cigarettes with all flavors excluding menthol have been prohibited to manufacture and sell across the nation. Any retailer caught on selling flavored cigarettes is regarded as a criminal and would be fined or even charged with misdemeanors.
The legislation, passed in June and entering into force this week, ordered the FDA to prohibit all cigarettes with candy, fruit or clove flavorings which anti-smoking advocates name to be appealing to minors and luring them to start smoking.
The FDA has issued a public letter to all cigarette producers, warning them about possible legal actions against those who don’t stop manufacturing or selling such cigarettes in infringement of the legislation. Customs agents will track and halt the imports of prohibited cigarettes.
What flavors are covered by the ban?
All flavored cigarettes; excluding menthol ones are included in the ban. The long-time popular clove cigarettes are also prohibited. However, as the ban is spread only to cigarettes, several manufacturers including Djarum, a leading clove cigarettes-maker, simply switched to making clove cigars, approximately of the same size and strength as cigarettes.
More restrictions on tobacco products to follow
The ban on flavored cigarettes is just the first measure approved by the FDA since the receipt of the authority to oversee tobacco products, legally signed by President Barack Obama in the middle of the summer. The Agency also plans to impose more severe restrictions on tobacco advertisements and demand placing larger and scarier health warnings on cigarette packs. In addition such terms as lights or mild will soon be banned, in conformity with the legislation.
The reasons to pass the ban on flavored cigarettes
According to public health experts, ban on flavored cigarettes is aimed at reducing teen smoking rates and preventing minors from picking up smoking. The majority of various studies and researches have demonstrated that candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes are the most appealing kind of cigarettes when it comes to minors. As the main reason for such tendency, scientists name tasty flavors that are used to conceal the real strength of cigarettes and therefore, make it easier to become regular smokers.
Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Public Health and one of the principal anti-smoking advocates in the White House called smoking a catastrophe for public health and admitted that with the implementation of the flavored cigarettes ban, a new chapter in the was against tobacco has begun.
The legislation will demand the tobacco industry to disclose all the ingredients of their products, in order to ban the most addictive and toxic ones.
In addition, despite menthol cigarettes were excluded from the ban, FDA experts promised to investigate the impact of menthol on smokers’ health and regulate it as well as other flavored tobacco products, including snuff, cigars and chewing tobacco.
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