Oklahoma City, OK – Attorney General Drew Edmondson today applauded a new federal law that bans flavored cigarettes from the market.
Effective today, as part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the sale of cigarettes containing any characterizing flavors other than menthol will be illegal.
"This ban is an important step in the fight against youth smoking," Edmondson said. "State attorneys general across the nation have been pushing for this type of action for some time."
Edmondson, one of eight state attorneys general to negotiate the historic Master Settlement Agreement with big tobacco in 1998, said the marketing of these flavored cigarettes was aimed at America's youth.
"One important aspect of the 1998 agreement was to stop the tobacco companies from targeting kids," Edmondson said. "The companies seemed to think that adding candy and fruit flavors to cigarettes might be a way around that restriction. I appreciate the federal government stepping in to stop this end-around ploy."
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), flavored tobacco products are becoming more common in the country and are considered "starter" products.
"Adding flavors like chocolate, cherry, licorice, strawberry and grape to cigarettes is now illegal," Edmondson said. "Pushing these products on children served only to set kids on the road to become lifetime smokers - the road to cancer and heart attack."
According to the FDA, the agency is examining the regulation of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. Edmondson said he supports similar, strict regulation on these products as well.