FDA’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes explains why FDA needs to reverse its de facto approvals of menthol e-cigarettes

The FDA’s decisions to act on premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for e-cigarettes has been explicit about two points: (1) it is authorizing tobacco flavors because kids don’t seem to use tobacco flavored e-cigs and (2) it is blocking flavored e-cigs – except menthol – because kids like flavors.  Because they can’t justify allowing mentholContinue reading “FDA’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes explains why FDA needs to reverse its de facto approvals of menthol e-cigarettes”

FDA authorizes two more RJR tobacco e-cigs and lets menthol remain on the market, ignoring its own conclusion that menthol reinforces nicotine addiction in kids’ developing brains

Today (May 12, 2022) FDA announced that it was authorizing the sale of two additional RJR e-cigarettes, Vuse Vibe (a vape pen) and Vuse Ciro (similar to previously authorized Vuse Solo). FDA didn’t act on RJR’s most popular Vuse product, Vuse Alto, so it continues on the market. Following FDA’s de facto policy, both wereContinue reading “FDA authorizes two more RJR tobacco e-cigs and lets menthol remain on the market, ignoring its own conclusion that menthol reinforces nicotine addiction in kids’ developing brains”

FDA proposed menthol ban in cigarettes is well done, except for the exceptions

On April 28, 2022, FDA released its proposed tobacco product standard prohibiting menthol cigarettes. The justification for prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor includes a comprehensive review of the effects of menthol on smoking, including why menthol promotes cigarette initiation and how it makes it harder to quit smoking. In addition to summarizing the behavioralContinue reading “FDA proposed menthol ban in cigarettes is well done, except for the exceptions”

We should all thank the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council for the FDA menthol rule

While many organizations and people contributed to the FDA finally issuing a draft rule to get rid of menthol in cigarettes and flavors in cigars, the one at the top of my list is the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and the “three musketeers of menthol,” Valerie Yerger, Carol McGruder and Phil Gardiner. ThisContinue reading “We should all thank the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council for the FDA menthol rule”

Fruit ecigs most popular first flavor, but kids who start with menthol/mint more likely to still be vaping as young adults

Jim Sargent, Jessica Barrington-Trimis and their colleagues at Dartmouth, USC, and other institutions just published an important study highlighting the importance of menthol/mint to long-term nicotine dependence among young adult e-cig users. Their paper, “First E-Cigarette Flavor and Device Type Used: Associations With Vaping Persistence, Frequency, and Dependence in Young Adults,” used data from theContinue reading “Fruit ecigs most popular first flavor, but kids who start with menthol/mint more likely to still be vaping as young adults”

FDA sends another signal that it will authorize menthol ecigs despite high youth use

The FDA continues to telegraph that it is going to authorize the sale of menthol e-cigarettes. The first strong indication was not acting on the Vuse Solo menthol PMTA, which has allowed RJ Reynolds to continue selling menthol Vuse side-by-side (screen capture below) with the authorized tobacco flavor. Now, the FDA press release announcing itsContinue reading “FDA sends another signal that it will authorize menthol ecigs despite high youth use”

Flavored tobacco sales bans reduce tobacco advertising: An added benefit

The evidence that comprehensive bans on the sale of flavored tobacco products work continues to grow.  And the latest study by Louisa Holmes, Lauren Lempert and Pam Ling adds a new benefit: There is less tobacco product advertising in cities that have flavor bans.  Their paper, Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions Reduce Tobacco Product Availability andContinue reading “Flavored tobacco sales bans reduce tobacco advertising: An added benefit”

Proposed FDA menthol rules sent to Biden OMB for approval before release for public comment

One February 24, 2022, the FDA submitted two proposed rules on menthol to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review before public release: “Tobacco Product Standard for Menthol in Cigarettes” and “Tobacco Product Standard for Characterizing Flavors in Cigars.” The OMB can approve the proposed rules as submitted, deny them, or approveContinue reading “Proposed FDA menthol rules sent to Biden OMB for approval before release for public comment”

Strong, but not weak, bans on the sale of flavored tobacco reduce availability of these products

The evidence that flavor bans substantially lower sales of menthol and other flavored tobacco products work continues to accumulate. Ralph Welwean and colleagues just published “Evaluating the Impact of Strong and Weak California Flavored Tobacco Sales Restriction Policies on the Tobacco Retail Environment” that, as the title indicates, evaluated the effectiveness of local laws prohibitingContinue reading “Strong, but not weak, bans on the sale of flavored tobacco reduce availability of these products”

MA, NY, RI and WA consistently saw big drops in sales after states banned sales of flavored e-cigs

More and more localities and states have stopped waiting for the FDA to get rid of flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol, and enacted local laws or policies ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. (Others, led by San Francisco, have banned the sale of all flavored tobacco products.) Fatma Ali and colleagues at the CDC Foundation, CDCContinue reading “MA, NY, RI and WA consistently saw big drops in sales after states banned sales of flavored e-cigs”