The FDA is considering restricting or banning menthol and other flavorings in tobacco products. The agency issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to collect research and additional data on the advantages and disadvantages of flavored cigars and electronic cigarettes.
Debate over flavored tobacco products is nothing new. In 2009, Congress banned flavorings in tobacco cigarettes — with the exception of menthol.
According to the new FDA statement, flavoring is reported to be the leading reason younger people use tobacco products. The flavoring has the ability to mask the taste of tobacco, making the product that much more appealing. However, despite their popularity, flavored cigarettes and cigars are just as addictive and harmful as any other tobacco products and may possibly make it even more difficult to quit.
“No child should use any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. At the same time, we’re aware that certain flavors may help currently addicted adult smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine-containing tobacco products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement.
This new report comes just a couple of days after the FDA proposed lowering nicotine levels in tobacco cigarettes to curb addiction.