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When Will Big Tobacco Stop Going After Kids – FDA Bans Flavored Cigarettes

4 comments

USA Today (9/23, Rubin) reports that on Tuesday, the FDA "banned the sale of candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes. The move was authorized by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which President Obama signed in June."

"These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg said, according to a front-page story in the New York Times (9/23, A1, Harris). The Times reports, however, that there has been confusion among distributors as to what constitutes a cigarette, and if flavored cigars or cigarillos are affected by the ban.

The story started back in the 1950s. Cigarette executives reviewed a report from their marketing department. It said that most of their best customers began smoking between the ages of 9 and 15 years of age. It said that by the time they realize that they are addicted, its too late for them to do anything about it and they were customers for life. The obvious conclusion to these morally bankrupt millionaire tobacco executives was to design slick adds that would appeal to 9-year-olds and start shopping for a bigger yacht and a new corporate airplane.

If you thought that the Billion Dollar tobacco settlement would change these folks, you were wrong. They are back with this new gimmick to hook kids on tobacco.

The Wall Street Journal (9/23, Dooren) reports that although the FDA warned against trying to circumvent the bans by introducing similar products, some flavored cigarette-like cigars are expected to stay on the market while the confusion persists.

The Washington Post (9/23, Layton) explains that FDA officials hope the ban will "cut down on the number of children and young adults who pick up the smoking habit." Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco, noted that "children are three times as likely as adults to smoke a flavored cigarette."

The White House’s Assistant Secretary for Health, Howard Koh, called tobacco addiction a "public health catastrophe," ABC News (9/22, Hartman) reported on its website. Koh "put the cigarette industry on notice that this is just the beginning of a ‘new chapter in public health efforts at tobacco control.’" Deyton noted that the FDA "will soon require…cigarette makers to turn over information about the ‘constituent components of tobacco products.’ The FDA will work with CDC scientists to investigate the safety of those ingredients." This is because the agency "also is considering bans on menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco," the Los Angeles Times (9/23, Hirsch) reports.

The AP (9/23, Felberbaum) notes that a law signed in June "allows the FDA to regulate the industry. Its authority includes the ability to ban certain products, reduce nicotine in tobacco products and block labels such ‘low tar’ and ‘light.’" Tobacco companies also will be required to cover their cartons with large, graphic warnings. AFP (9/23) also covers the story.

4 Comments

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  1. Motorsheep says:
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    Actually, the FDA ban has little to do with either big tobacco *OR* kids… it targets specialty imports mostly made in Indonesia and not marketed in this country at all. Big tobacco products like menthol cigarettes are exempt from the ban, inexplicably. The FDA is saying they are protecting kids when what they are actually doing is penalizing adults while letting the big American companies off the hook, and letting the real “gateway” products get a free pass… this is a transparently political move which has little to do with public health and a lot to do with restricting personal freedoms. Foul ball, FDA… foul ball…

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    It won’t be the first foul ball for the FDA if it is one. So none of the American tobacco companies are making these flavored cigarettes other than Menthol? Interesting. Is there a good write up on that somewhere? Where do you get your info on this? Major media is all reporting that the FDA is soing good.

  3. Sam says:
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    Gosh that argument is always used… save the kiddies!… those yummy flavors will surely get kids hooked! Hello people?? PEER PRESSURE is what gets kids into cigarettes and most other bad habits. How about parents take some damn responsibility and start raising their kids right. That is the only defense against PEER PRESSURE. All this “ban this and that because we are thinking of the children” is utter POOP and is simply propaganda to advance a political agenda because it sounds nice to rally behind.

    If they really wanted to help our health, they would ban ALL cigarettes and legalize electronic cigarettes (water vapor + nicotine) or some other nicotine supplement to transition smoker too.

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    No doubt about it Sam. I agree 100%. We have a lot of articles at Injury Board that raise that issue in all sorts of cases where someone gets hurt. Steve Lombardi one of our group from Des Moines, Iowa, just wrote about a horrific car crash involving a 15-year-old driver. In Iowa a 15 year old can drive under speciual circumstances. The girl was driving her fellow cheerleaders around midnight on a freeway and lost control and crashed.It was around midnight. Steve made the point that the parents were lazy and should not have put theoir daughter out into the night in car.

    TEEN LOGIC: Why is a 15-year-old taxiing passengers on I-380 in Iowa?

    http://desmoines.injuryboard.com/automobile-accidents/why-is-a-15yearold-taxiing-passengers-on-i380-in-iowa.aspx?googleid=270454

    Responsibility starts at home and within each of us. Accepting responsibility when our mistakes cause harm equally important.