21 Senators Send Letter Urging FDA to Ban Flavored Tobacco, Menthol

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Last month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would seek a ban on flavored tobacco—including flavored cigars—and menthol in tobacco products as part of what the agency sees as a growing epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products.

While flavored cigars are hardly the main target, they would be included in the ban. Yesterday, a group of 21 Democratic senators sent a letter to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA commissioner, urging the agency to enact the ban “swiftly.”

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“We appreciate the steps FDA announced to reduce youth access to some flavored e-cigarettes, but we urge the agency to take additional, stronger steps to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youth,” said the letter. “We also applaud the decision to pursue a ban on flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, products that we know disproportionately impact youth, and urge FDA to act swiftly to undergo and complete a rulemaking process to remove these products from the market.”

Those additional steps include banning mint and menthol flavorings in e-cigarettes and stronger policies regarding age verification at both physical and online retailers.

While FDA has announced its plans for a flavor ban, it has not begun a formal process outside of seeking comment earlier this year. The process is expected to take multiple years and will likely result in multiple lawsuits to stop the ban.

The 21 senators who signed the letter are:

  • Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
  • Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
  • Chris Coons, D-Del.
  • Richard Durbin, D-Ill.
  • Dianne Feinstein, D-Cal.
  • Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
  • Kamala Harris, D-Cal.
  • Margaret Hassan, D-N.H.
  • Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
  • Edward Markey, D-Mass.
  • Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.
  • Jeffrey Merkley, D-Ore.
  • Patty Murray, D-Wash.
  • Jack Reed, D-R.I.
  • Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii
  • Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
  • Tina Smith, D-Minn.
  • Tom Udall, D-N.M.
  • Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
  • Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.
  • Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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