FDA Announces Proposed Menthol Cigarette and Flavored Cigar Bans

On May 4, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed rules that would ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The proposed “Tobacco Product Standard for Menthol in Cigarettes” would prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes. Likewise, the proposed “Tobacco Product Standard for Characterizing Flavors in Cigars” would prohibit characterizing flavors other than tobacco in all cigars and their components and parts.

In a press release on April 28th, the agency stated that the bans “have the potential to significantly reduce disease and death from combusted tobacco product use… by reducing youth experimentation and addiction and increasing the number of smokers that quit.”

In the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) for each proposed rule, FDA found that the rules would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The affected entities include small manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers who produce and supply tobacco products within the United States. The IRFAs are available on the FDA website as a part of each rule’s preliminary regulatory impact analysis (PRIA). Additionally, FDA will convene public listening sessions on June 13 and June 15, 2022.

Public comments on each rule are due by July 5, 2022.

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