FDA to Ban Menthol Cigarettes & Flavoured Cigars in the US Aiming to ‘Reduce Disease and Death’


If you are one to smoke an infused cigar, or in the habit of smoking menthol cigarettes, your days of enjoying the same might be numbered. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars, aiming to “reduce disease and death.” The US food agency said it hoped to install the ban within next year, but the effort is a part of a much larger process. It cannot act immediately because a proposed change needs to go through a legal public comment period. More updates on the same will likely be made available over the year, it added that the decision was long overdue. The agency added that the effort is a significant step to reduce addiction and youth experimentation, improve quitting and address public health disparities.

Smoking has a lot of ill health effects. Studies have shown, it causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and more. Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and affects the immune system. According to FDA, the 2009 statutory ban of flavoured cigarettes inadvertently lead to the increased use of flavoured cigars. In its reasoning behind the proposed ban, the FDA noted that many flavoured cigars are consumed by underaged smokers.

“With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D in a detailed statement. The agency is taking urgent action to reduce tobacco addiction and curb deaths. Primary Reasons Why People Start Smoking Cigarettes and Why It Gets So Difficult To Kick the Habit. 

The move is meant to promote better health equity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), menthol in cigarettes likely leads people, especially young people to experiment with smoking. It could further increase a young person’s risk of becoming dependent on nicotine.

It was in 2009, when the US Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that allowed the FDA to regulate tobacco products, and prohibited all flavours in cigarettes, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavour. However, it asked the FDA to reevaluate the flavour ban periodically. In 2020, various anti-smoking groups claimed that the agency had failed to act on menthol cigarettes.

(The above story first appeared on Scoop Buddy on Apr 30, 2021 10:44 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website scoopbuddy.com).