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FDA makes flavored cigarettes illegal in the U.S. to prevent underage smoking

Posted On Thu, September 24, 2009

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that all fruit and candy flavored cigarettes are now illegal in the U.S. in an attempt to curb underage smoking by removing types of cigarettes that may be appealing to them.

The banning comes as the first major decision by the FDA under the Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in June. While the act does not allow the FDA to outright ban tobacco or nicotine products, it does allow for the FDA to regulate all tobacco products and prevent advertising to children.

"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 Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA. "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."

In addition to reducing the appeal of cigarettes to children, the elimination of flavored cigarettes may also lead to more smokers - who likely have health insurance and life insurance quotes because of their habit - deciding to quit.

Next on the FDA's list of tobacco products to ban may be menthol cigarettes. However, according to the Triangle Business Journal such a decision may be met with resistance from Lorillard Inc, which owns the Newport brand commands about 35 percent of the menthol cigarette market. Along with Reynolds American Inc, both companies have joined in a lawsuit to block several provisions of the Tobacco Control Act

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