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Flavored Cigarette Ban Takes Effect
Date:9/22/2009

New federal law may help deter young smokers, health advocates say,,,,

TUESDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Young people who enjoy a hint of vanilla, berry or chocolate when they light up are about to have their favorite smokes snuffed out. A new federal law banning fruit- and candy-flavored cigarettes takes effect Sept. 22.

The prohibition is part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, legislation that grants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products. President Barack Obama signed the measure into law June 22.

Studies show that flavored cigarettes, which have been around for about a decade, disproportionately appeal to America's youth. Thus, banning the manufacture and sale of kid-friendly flavored cigarettes is a critical step toward deterring young smokers, health advocates said.

"Almost 90 percent of adult smokers start smoking as teenagers. These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers," FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg said in a news release. "The FDA will utilize regulatory authority to reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco products to enhance our nation's public health."

Gregg Haifley, associate director of federal relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Washington, D.C., said, "Banning candy and fruit flavorings in cigarettes can have a significant effect on the reduction of initiation of smoking among youth, as well as reducing the number of youth who go on to regular, daily use."

The network estimated that 3,500 children a day pick up their first cigarette and 1,000 of them become addicted smokers.

"This is truly a case of an ounce of prevention can prevent a future epidemic," added Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"Flavored tobacco products are clearly intended to
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