Up In Smoke

FDA Bans Flavored Cigs

The Food and Drug administration announced that it would outlaw cigarettes flavored with chocolate, vanilla, clove, and other tastes that they say entice children and teens. The agency considers the products to be a gateway, easing young consumers into the acquired taste of addictive nicotine. The FDA was first given the power to regulate tobacco products last year, though it cannot ban regular cigarettes, cigars, or chew. Menthols may be a next target. Research in 2004 showed that "17-year-old smokers were more than three times as likely as those over the age of 25 to smoke flavored cigarettes, and they viewed flavored cigarettes as safer." The agency warned that making little flavored cigars to get around the ruling would not be tolerated. They will be looked at on a "case by case" basis.