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What is the FDA's New Proposed Menthol Ban?

On April 29th, 2021, in response to a citizen petition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is pursuing two new tobacco product standards. The FDA is intent on issuing proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a flavor in cigarettes and ban all flavors in cigars. Menthol is the last allowable flavor in cigarettes but the FDA has given statistics that many smokers switched to flavored cigars when other flavors of cigarettes were banned in 2009.

In support of its position, the FDA calls attention to studies which show that menthol increases the appeal of tobacco and often acts as a gateway to regular smoking. The agency further purports that menthol hides unpleasant flavors, masks the harshness of tobacco products and makes tobacco products more addictive by enhancing the effects of nicotine.

Though it has not indicated when this year it will occur, the FDA intends to publish a proposed rule which will allow an opportunity for public comment.

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