FDA: Menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars may soon be banned

Within the next year, the U.S. could see bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, the FDA announced April 29. 

The agency said it's working on proposed product standards to "ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars." 

"Banning menthol — the last allowable flavor — in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products," said Janet Woodcock, MD, acting FDA commissioner. "With these actions, the FDA will help significantly rescue youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities." 

If the ban is implemented, the FDA's enforcement would apply to manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers, but would not extend to "individual consumer possession or use of menthol cigarettes or any tobacco product," the agency said. 

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