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The menthol and fruit flavors make cigarettes more tempting and more addictive. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is taking the first step to possibly limit its use in tobacco products.
The FDA moved last week to possibly reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. On Tuesday, he began asking for more information on how menthol and other flavors make cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products more addictive and dangerous and, if so, what should be done about it.
"The FDA may consider restrictions on the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products," the agency said in a notice for a proposed new rule.
The Commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, said that the main objective is to protect children.
"For years we have recognized that the flavors in these products attract children and promote the initiation of young people." The data supports this and, as a result, Congress banned the use of most of the characteristic flavors in cigarettes. "Gottlieb said in a statement.
"The idea that any child will start a lifelong addiction to tobacco, which could ultimately lead to their death, is unacceptable, we have to do everything possible to prevent children from getting hooked on nicotine" .
FDA action Tuesday is the first step in a long and often complicated process of changing federal rules.
Information on the effects of flavors on cigars, small cigars, snus and other chewed tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is requested.
Last week, the FDA requested similar information, as it believes that tobacco companies should reduce the amount of nicotine that goes to cigarettes.
Related  The FDA does not have the authority to ban tobacco products, but since Congress granted it some powers in 2009, it has moved gradually to impose some limits on the sale and marketing of tobacco.
Tobacco is the leading cause of both heart disease and cancer and kills about half a million people a year in the US alone. UU
Tobacco companies have been forced to admit and publicize the fact that they conspired to make cigarettes as addictive as possible and hid their devastating effects on health.