Will the FDA Ban Traditional Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Nicotine For E-Cigarettes?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five adults (in the US) use some form of tobacco product. That means roughly 47 million people use cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, or hookah pipes.  More importantly, this rate has been pretty constant over the past several years, though the 14 percent of adults who smoke today are the fewest in recorded history.

Data also shows that cigarette smoking remains the #1 cause of preventable death and disease among people in the United States. Indeed, cigarette smoking results in an estimated 480,000 American deaths every single year. In addition, approximately 16 million Americans suffer from an illness related to smoking.

Actually, the United States National Cancer Institute advises that cigarette smoking has been the leading cause of cancer death in the US for at least the last fifty years.  Thus, they recommend that eliminating smoking could result in roughly one-third fewer cancer deaths annually.

Additionally, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) estimates the 14 percent smoker rate is down from 15.5 percent a year ago. Overall, though, these numbers have declined by 67 percent since 1965, which is the first year the NHIS started collecting this data.

Furthermore, the NHIS comment that there have been quite a notable drop in young adult (ages 18 to 24) cigarette smokers (from 13 percent in 2016 down to only 10 percent this year).  Still, e-cigarette use amount teens and young adults are on the rise. As such, regulators in the US are looking into a possible ban on flavored nicotine, like the kind used in the increasingly popular battery-powered vaping devices.

A ban on flavored nicotine for vaping devices would certainly help to deter younger people from smoking. And with that in mind, it should also be noted that there is a potential ban on menthol cigarettes up for debate as well.  According to the US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, the FDA may be poised to begin the process of banning menthol cigarettes, but this process is complicated and could take many years.

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