Ban on Flavored Cigarettes

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Effective today, smoke shops in our nation are banned from selling flavored cigarettes under rules giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) greater regulatory authority over tobacco products.

President Barack Obama signed a law that grants the U.S. FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. The law will restrict tobacco advertising, ban candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes, and require large, graphic health warnings to cover the top half of all cigarette packages.

Flavored cigarettes entice people, mainly teenagers with exciting name like Winter Warm Toffee, Twista Chill, Winter Mocha Mint and Kauai Kolada and other flavors that include cherry, lime strawberry and vanilla. This sounds more like a candy store than a cigarette shop. “These are designed to attract younger smokers,” said Michael Bopp of the American Cancer Society. “We don’t want to see a product introduced that will give back the gains we’ve made in this state in reducing teenage smoking.”

The ban targets flavored cigarettes that critics say are designed, in part, to entice young people to pick up the habit. Clove cigarettes seem to be top on the list. Clove cigarettes, which have been around for more than 100 years, are estimated to be a $140 million

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The FDA says the flavor ban will apply to "all tobacco products that meet the definition of a cigarette" even if the product is labeled as something else.

Under the law, the FDA also holds a unique power over the tobacco industry by restricting the marketing and advertisement aspect. Phrases that imply a more health conscious cigarette such as “light,” “low tar” or “mild” will no longer be used on cartons or ads. In addition, the FDA will now have the ability to alter the tar and nicotine levels and is requiring tobacco companies to reveal the amount of additives within their products.

A national survey presented last week by Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that 20 percent of smokers ages 17 to 19 used flavored cigarettes in the past 30 days while just 6 percent of smokers over the age of 25 did, said Dr. Gary Giovino, a senior researcher at the institute. A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 46 percent of adult Americans support the law and 52 percent oppose it.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing more than 400,000 people, sickening millions more and costing the nation $96 billion in health care bills each year. Every day, another 1,000 kids become regular smokers - one-third of them will die prematurely as a result. The ban on flavored cigarettes will be just another step to detract people from smoking.

References
MSNBC
Washington Post

Written by Tyler Woods Ph.D.
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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