The FDA sees flavored cigarettes as a gateway drug, encouraging children and young adults to become regular smokers. So a new federal law enacted this Summer, which bans the production, distribution, or sale of flavored cigarettes goes into effect today. This includes clove and candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes — anything but minty-fresh menthol. Tobacco companies enhance cigarettes with sweet flavors such as vanilla, berries, or chocolate to make them taste sweeter and more appealing to teens, which results in getting them hooked young.
This new law is an amendment to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA is hoping they can target flavored cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff as well.
Tobacco use causes 438,000 deaths a year, and studies show that smokers live an average of 14 years less than nonsmokers. About 90 percent of adult smokers started in their teens, so hopefully banning kid-friendly cigarettes will discourage the habit and prevent the deadly side effects.