In a landmark move bound to further shake the tobacco industry, the Food and Drug Administration plans to propose a ban on menthol cigarettes next week as part of its aggressive campaign against flavored e-cigarettes and some tobacco products, agency officials said.
The proposal would have to go through the F.D.A. regulatory maze, and it could be several years before such a restriction took effect, especially if the major tobacco companies contest the agency’s authority to do so. None of the major tobacco companies would comment on the possibility of barring menthol cigarettes at this early stage.
But such a move has been long-awaited by public health advocates, who have been especially concerned about the high percentage of African-Americans who become addicted to menthol cigarettes.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency’s commissioner, would not comment publicly on the proposal on Friday. But in a recent interview, he said the F.D.A. was revisiting the issue, one that had been weighed in previous administrations. “It was a mistake for the agency to back away on menthol,” he said earlier this fall.
Source: NY Times