Starting from 12 pm on September 21st, all flavored cigarettes excepting menthol cigarettes were barred from production and sales throughout the United States. Any individual distributing banned products and thus, violating the legislation would be subjected to fins and even jail terms.
According to the Tobacco Regulation Act, adopted by Congress two months ago and coming into effect last week, the FDA has been entitled to ban all cigarettes containing chocolate, candy, clove or fruit flavors, which public health experts consider to be a gateway for adolescents to becoming regular smokers.
The Food and Drug Administration sent an opened letter to all cigarette makers operating across America, notifying them about subsequent legal actions against the manufacturers who don’t phase out flavored cigarettes from production in violation of the law. Customs services agents will trace and detain the shipments of banned cigarettes imported to the country.
What flavors are prohibited by the law?
The law prohibits all flavored cigarettes, except menthol. The hugely popular clove cigs are as well banned. Yet, since the ban covers only cigarettes, many producers of flavored cigarettes, including the top clove cigarettes manufacturer, Djarum Co, instantly modified their plants to make flavored cigars, which are nearly identical to cigarettes in size and strength.
Other restriction to become valid soon
The prohibition of flavored cigarettes came up as the first restriction imposed by the FDA after it has been granted with the authority to regulate tobacco industry, in conformity with the law signed by President Obama in June. The FDA as well intends to implement drastic restrictions on developing and marketing tobacco products, require more grievous health warnings and prohibit such terms like “low tar”, “lights,” etc.
The reasons to ban the flavorings
Anti-smoking groups claim that prohibition of flavored cigarettes is drawn to reduce terrific smoking rates among minors and fencing teens off from taking up smoking. Many researches found that fruit and chocolate-flavored cigarettes are the most luring type of tobacco products when dealing with teenagers. Scientists agree in opinion that yummy flavors are put to mask the strength of cigarettes, what contributed to make it easier to get hooked on cigarettes.
Howard Koh, main anti-tobacco advocate in new President’s administration and Assistant Secretary for Public Health, who frequently named cigarettes a catastrophe for the health of younger generations, said that implementation of the ban signals about the beginning of the new era in the battle against tobacco consumption in the United States.
The Tobacco Control Act also requires tobacco companies to reveal the components of their production, with possible further bans of the most hazardous and addictive substances.
Moreover, although menthol flavored cigarettes are not included in the ban, the FDA spokesperson said that they would carry out laboratory analysis of the influence of menthol additive on the health of smokers, and probably ban menthol cigarettes too.