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Decision by FDA to Prohibit Menthol-Infused Cigarettes

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Decision by FDA to Prohibit Menthol-Infused Cigarettes

Acknowledgment: Unsplash

The US Food and Drug Administration has taken a bold step against the tobacco industry and its contemporary counterparts by prohibiting the use of flavored tobacco items. Appealing tastes and fragrances mitigate the unappealing odor of tobacco smoke, thereby making products like cigarettes, cigars, and vaping devices more attractive to young individuals. Discouraging teenagers from smoking is already challenging; the task becomes even more formidable when every inhalation tastes like confectionery. Fortunately, for more than a decade, flavored cigarettes have been prohibited, with the exception of one which is now also on the brink of prohibition.

Today, the FDA declared its intention to eliminate all menthol-flavored cigarettes from public access, in addition to flavored cigars. Should this prohibition come into force, the only legally available type of cigarette or cigar would be unflavored.

“Menthol conceals the acrid and bitter flavors of tobacco products, making them more enticing for initial use. Tobacco products containing menthol can also be more habit-forming and challenging to abandon due to the enhancement of nicotine effects,” elucidates the FDA.

Individual possession of menthol cigarettes by consumers will not be restricted or regulated; this initiative solely aims to ban manufacturing, distribution, and wholesale activities. Nevertheless, even if personal possession of menthol cigarettes is not prohibited, the FDA pledges to exert effort to keep them out of the market.

“By outlawing menthol — the lone remaining permissible flavor — in cigarettes and eliminating all flavors in cigars, lives will be safeguarded, particularly among those disproportionally impacted by these hazardous products,” remarked Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock in a statement issued on Thursday. “Through these measures, the FDA will notably curb youth initiation, elevate the likelihood of smoking cessation among existing smokers, and mitigate health inequalities experienced by marginalized communities, low-income demographic, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom exhibit a higher propensity to utilize these tobacco items.”

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