FDA Seeks Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

JUUL this week announced that it’s ceasing sales of most of its flavored nicotine pods for its e-cigarettes in retail stores.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday, Nov. 15 that it will seek a ban on the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

The announcement came as the agency officially released a detailed plan to also restrict the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes. It also wants to ban flavored cigars.
In a prepared statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the moves are aimed at fighting smoking among young people. Flavored e-cigarettes, menthol-flavored tobacco cigarettes and flavored cigars are all popular among teenagers.

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“Today, I’m pursuing actions aimed at addressing the disturbing trend of youth nicotine use and continuing to advance the historic declines we’ve achieved in recent years in the rates of combustible cigarette use among kids,” said Gottlieb in the statement.
Previously, major tobacco makers have vigorously opposed any effort to ban menthol cigarettes.

The FDA is also expanding its crackdown on e-cigarettes, proposing new restrictions on sales of flavored vaping products on the grounds that they are addictive and have become hugely popular with minors.

Though stopping short of banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in convenience stores and gas stations—as was expected based on earlier reports last week—the FDA’s proposal would limit the sale of these products in retail stores to closed-off areas that are inaccessible to minors. The proposal doesn’t include mint and menthol flavors of e-cigarettes, for now.

The agency particularly had identified industry leader JUUL Labs as a company worth watching in terms of sales to minors.

JUUL this week announced that it’s ceasing sales of most of its flavored nicotine pods for its e-cigarettes in retail stores.

As of Nov. 13, JUUL has stopped accepting retail orders for Mango, Fruit, Creme and Cucumber JUUL pods to the more than 90,000 retail stores that sell JUUL products, including traditional tobacco retailers (e.g., convenience stores) and specialty vape shops.
Consumers will still be able to buy all of JUUL’s flavors on its website, where the company is adding additional age-verification measures that use third-party verification to confirm ages are accurate.

Online order sizes will be restricted to two devices and 15 JUUL-pod packages per month, and no more than 10 devices per year to prevent potential distribution to minors. Retailers will continue to sell its four tobacco and menthol-flavored pods.