WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Federal Drug Administration is planning to address the creation and sale of flavored cigars and cigarellos, which health experts say make smoking more appealing and accessible to children.
According to United Press International, the FDA has announced that they will regulate flavoring in cigars, as well as in other tobacco products, though they have reportedly not said when or how they plan to do so.
The FDA previously banned the creation and sale of flavored cigarettes in September of 2009, a matter the Administration addresses on its website.
The FDA decreed, “This special rule for cigarettes prohibits a cigarette or any of its component parts … from containing, as a constituent … or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.”
Warning letters have also been issued by the FDA, according to UPI, in regards to several companies who have attempted to circumvent existing laws through modifications in the branding of their products, or through the creation of new ones.
Mitchell Zeller, the recently appointed director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, said, “What we’ve seen in the past 10 years is this remarkable transformation of the marketplace. There are products being sold today – unregulated products – that literally did not exist 10 years ago.”
For experts, the products are a significant issue in regards to the health of the nation – and as of now, they do not feel the Administration’s efforts are enough to combat their production and sales.
“The 20th century was the cigarette century, and we worked very hard to address that,” Gregory N. Connolly, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at Harvard School of Public Health, told the New York Times. “Now the 21st century is about multiple tobacco products. They’re cheap. They’re flavored. And some of them you can use anywhere.”
Added Matthew L. Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, “We shouldn’t need 40 years of study to figure out that chocolate- and grape-flavored cigars are being smoked by young people.”
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