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Feds ban candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes

September 22, 2009 |  8:23 am

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a ban on cigarettes with fruit, candy or clove flavors today.

The ban, authorized by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, represents a national effort by the FDA to reduce an easy entry point for youth into smoking and tobacco addiction.

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in America, the government says.

The FDA also is considering bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes.

“Almost 90% of adult smokers start smoking as teenagers. These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg. “The FDA will utilize regulatory authority to reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco products to enhance our nation’s public health.”

Flavors make cigarettes and other tobacco products more appealing to youth. The FDA said studies have shown that 17-year-old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25.

-- Jerry Hirsch