Cigarettes with candy, fruit or clove flavorings have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA. The ban has been authorized by the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Many people accuse the tobacco industry of trying to lure children into smoking by adding flavors to their cigarettes. A significant proportion of adults who are addicted to tobacco today started smoking when they were children.

The FDA said it is important to reduce the number of children who start to smoke, and subsequently get hooked and become long-term addicted smokers. The FDA added that it is looking into options for regulating menthol cigarettes and non-cigarette flavored tobacco as well.

FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., said "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. 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."

Adding candy or fruit flavors to tobacco products make them more appealing for children, the FDA said. A 17-year-old smoker is three times as likely to opt for flavored cigarettes compared to a smoker who is over 25.

Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said "Flavored cigarettes attract and allure kids into lifetime addiction. FDA's ban on these cigarettes will break that cycle for the more than 3,600 young people who start smoking daily."

In a letter to tobacco and cigarette companies the FDA said that any company that makes, ships or sells these newly banned products may be subject to FDA enforcement actions.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a pediatrician and the FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner, said "Youth are twice as likely to report seeing advertising for these flavored products as adults are. 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 asks people to report any cases of continuing sales of these flavored cigarettes to:
Special tobacco hotline 1-877-CTP-1373
www.fda/flavoredtobacco Source - FDA



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