The United States' Food and Drug Administration is planning to ban menthol cigarettes further crippling the tobacco industry. Agency officials said that the crackdown is a part of its aggressive campaign against flavoured e-cigarettes and some tobacco products. The ban on menthols would affect British American Tobacco BTI -4.24% PLC, that sells the Newport brand of cigarettes in the U.S. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale next week.
In the US, nearly 20 million people smoke menthol cigarettes. It would take a year for the ruling to be finalised and another year for it to be taken into force. Earlier this week, it was reported that FDA would also put restrictions on the sale of flavoured e-cigarette products. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in an interview on Wednesday said that the new policy will on vaping products like Juul which are popular among youths. Is JUUL Safe? Read More About The New Alternative to Smoking and Vaping.
The agency will also impose age-verification requirements for online sales. The agency has been collecting public comments on prohibition for the benefit of the public health community, however, it is likely to be opposed by the cigarette industry.
Unless minors are restricted from entering the store, no retail outlets will be allowed to carry them. Since 2017, FDA had said that e-cigarettes are a potential to put adult smokers off cigarettes, but in FDA warned the industry about the increasing use of e-cigarette among teenagers. E-Cigarettes, Vape, e-Sheesha, e-Hookah to Get Banned in India as Health Ministry Issues Advisory to States.
On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration announced plans to ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes as soon as next year. This would make the state the first to prohibit vaping products which are considered better than traditional cigarettes.
Talking about the harmful effects of menthol cigarettes on people's health, FDA in 2013 said that "the use of the cigarettes, which are flavoured with the compound menthol, was likely associated with increased smoking initiation by youth and young adults, possibly because menthol helps reduce the throat irritation caused by cigarette smoke", the Wall Street Journal reported.