FDA may restrict menthol, additional flavor through tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs

The days of menthol cigarettes as well as strawberry-flavored e-cigs may be numbered.

The Food as well as Drug Administration is actually taking the first step toward implementing a rule about the role of which flavors, including menthol, play in attracting users to certain tobacco products. On one hand, fun e-cig flavors like creme brulee might be enticing teenagers as well as young adults, nevertheless the FDA is actually trying to balance of which with the flavors helping some adults to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.

The agency is actually considering banning or restricting menthol as well as additional flavors through tobacco products. One of the questions of which’s seeking comment on is actually which types of products should fall under the rule: traditional combustible cigarettes, alternatives like e-cigarettes, or both.

“No child should use any tobacco products, including e-cigarette,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, in a statement. “At the same time, we’re aware of which certain flavors may help currently addicted adult smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine-containing tobacco products.”

The FDA will also weigh the idea of restricting advertising as well as promotion of flavored products. of which does not currently impose any such rules on e-cigarettes, whereas heavy regulations are imposed on traditional cigarettes.

Flavored products may also be required to offer warnings or disclosure statements on labels as well as packaging. The only warning statement e-cigarettes are currently required to include is actually one of which states the product contains nicotine as well as of which of which’s an addictive chemical.

The FDA banned certain flavors in cigarettes in 2009, nevertheless menthol was excluded through those brand new rules, as were additional tobacco products. E-cigarettes have come under fire for their fruity flavors serving as a gateway for kids.

The controversy has heightened within the past year as JUUL, a favorite e-cigarette, has become favorite among adolescents as well as teenagers. Local news reports document kids bringing the devices, which look like USB drives, to school.

A JUUL spokeswoman did not immediately have comment, nevertheless the company has told CNBC from the past of which of which’s ramping up enforcement efforts in response to adolescents using its products.

The FDA, under Gottlieb, adopted the idea of which tobacco products exist on a continuum of risk, with cigarettes being the most deadly on the spectrum as well as e-cigs being seen as potentially less risky.

“The thought of any child starting down a path of a lifelong addiction to tobacco, which could ultimately lead to their death, is actually unacceptable,” Gottlieb said, in a statement. “We need to take every effort to prevent kids through getting hooked on nicotine.”

This specific is actually the latest action through the FDA, which introduced a sweeping tobacco initiative over the summer. Last week, the agency took the first step toward lowering the level of nicotine in cigarettes to minimally addictive or nonaddictive levels.

Public health advocates applauded the move to explore flavors. American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown called the action “long overdue progress” as well as encouraged the FDA to move quickly to develop a “strong flavoring product standard.”

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew Myers called for the agency to ban flavors in all tobacco products unless manufacturers provide scientific evidence of which allowing a specific one benefits public health.

“While a limited availability of flavors in reduced harm products such as e-cigarettes may play a role in encouraging smokers to quit, there is actually no role for products with youth appealing names such as unicorn vomit, fruit loops or peanut butter as well as jelly,” said Robin Koval, CEO of the Truth Initiative.

Tobacco companies have said they welcome the FDA’s approach. Menthol, however, may be prove to be more contentious.

Murray Garnick, General Counsel for Altria Group, said the company’s “encouraged of which FDA is actually recognizing the important role flavors may play in smokers choosing to transition to potentially less harmful products.” A spokesman for Philip Morris International said the company’s still from the process of reviewing the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, nevertheless of which has previously expressed support for Gottlieb’s comprehensive plan.

Reynolds, which was acquired by British American Tobacco last year, has poured money into fighting a ban on flavored tobacco in San Francisco. of which makes Newport, the most favorite menthol cigarette as well as the second most favorite cigarette, representing about 14 percent of the overall market in 2016, according to Euromonitor International.

Reynolds also makes the next two best-selling brands: Camel as well as Pall Mall, both of which offer menthol variations.

“We support responsible approaches to regulating flavors as well as balancing the growing evidence of which flavors play an important role in helping adult smokers switch to alternatives of which potentially present less risk than cigarettes,” Dr. James Figlar, executive vice president of RAI Services Company, an indirect subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., as well as executive vice president of research as well as development for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, said in a statement.

The FDA’s public comment period will be open for 0 days.

Download the full text of the FDA’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

-CNBC’s Meg Tirrell contributed to This specific report

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