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UNF Spinnaker

FDA bans flavored, candy cigarettes in an attempt to lower underage addiction

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of flavored and candy cigarettes Sept. 22 in an effort to reduce addiction to tobacco products in children and young adults, according to the FDA’s official Web site.

The regulation sparked the interest of UNF sophomore secondary education major Meghann Mueller, who didn’t know about the regulation when it was passed.

“I don’t personally agree with smoking. I don’t think it’s a good habit,” Mueller said. “But if you’re gonna make some of it illegal, make it all illegal.”

The FDA’s reasoning behind banning type-specific tobacco products relates to the age-specific advertising efforts of the banned products. These ads could make the 3,600 young adults that begin smoking every day believe the products are less harmful or addictive than they actually are, according to an FDA news release.

FDA officials wrote that close to 90 percent of adults who smoke began the habit as kids, and this generation’s children are twice as likely as adults to see marketing related to flavored tobacco products.

One marketing document stated that a flavored tobacco product was “for younger people, beginner cigarette smokers, teenagers … when you feel like a light smoke, want to be reminded of bubblegum,” according to the FDA’s official Web site.

Other students fight back against this claim by FDA.

“That’s ridiculous. If you want to smoke vanilla-flavored cigarettes, you should have that choice,” said Matt Marshall, senior accounting major at UNF. “It’s not gonna make any difference [because] kids are gonna smoke cigarettes no matter what. If they’re gonna smoke it, then they’re gonna smoke it.”

The FDA will not release a full list of banned products but rather said on its Web site that the ban includes flavored “tobacco, in any form, that is functional in the product, which, because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging and labeling, is likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette or as roll-your-own tobacco.”

The ban will not include most flavored cigars — though it did note that cigars functioning as cigarettes could be banned. It won’t include hookah or any other form of “bona fide pipe tobacco,” according to the FDA’s Web site.

UNF psychology and sociology junior Carmen Mims said that she doesn’t care about smoking since she rarely smokes but that the ban could be confusing to some smokers.

“It’s just that there are double standards everywhere,” Mims said. “It’s not right, but they’re everywhere.”

Menthol cigarettes and non-cigarette, flavored tobacco products are also under question, as the FDA said in a news release that they were under consideration for regulation as well.

Editor’s Note: The Spinnaker tried multiple times to contact the Food and Drug Administration for comment. The organization’s spokespersons did not respond to these attempts.

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