Editorial: Ban on menthol cigarettes isn’t the answer


Cigarettes kill, but menthol isn’t the culprit. Nevertheless the Food and Drug Administration is moving toward regulating, maybe even banning, menthol in cigarettes, while leaving cigarettes without the minty, cool additive available for public consumption. That makes no sense.

OK, it makes a little sense. Just not enough to justify banning menthol smokes.

More than 440,000 people in the United States die every year due to tobacco use, according to the FDA, which nailed tobacco as the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease. But the agency found no evidence that menthol cigarettes are more toxic than non-menthol brands, or pose a heightened risk of disease for smokers.

FDA Clarification Regarding August 22 Wall Street Journal Article

From: FDA

The FDA wants to correct inaccuracies in an August 22, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, titled “FDA Discusses Banning Online Sales of E-Cigarettes.”

The FDA frequently meets with members of the tobacco industry, as well as with public health groups and other stakeholders, to better understand any concerns or questions they may have. As part of this effort, “listening sessions” with e-cigarette companies have been held at their request and have given the FDA an opportunity to listen to their concerns or views.

Smoking Cessation Experts Weigh in On E-Cigarettes

From: Science Daily

With the third and largest of the U.S. tobacco companies planning an e-cigarette product launch this fall, this next frontier for “Big Tobacco” provides renewed presence in a declining marketplace. It’s also a potential gateway to new smokers, particularly among teens and in emerging/foreign markets, according to behavioral scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine vapors and flavorings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 6 percent of adults have tried e-cigarettes, a number that has nearly doubled since 2010. Absent of tobacco, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a possible aid in getting people to stop smoking and thereby reducing their lung cancer risk.

FDA Warns Over RYO Promoted as Pipe Tobacco

Also issues 10,000th tobacco retailer warning letter
CSP Daily News |

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) tobacco compliance and enforcement program–touting that it recently issued its 10,000th tobacco retailer warning letter–has also issued warning letters to three tobacco manufacturers and one tobacco retailer for promoting or selling illegal cigarette or roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco products labeled as “pipe tobacco.”

These tobacco products were found to be subject to FDA regulation, and as such, the warning letters include violations for selling modified-risk tobacco products without an order in effect or selling prohibited flavored cigarette tobacco products, the agency said in a press release.

US cracks down on websites selling bidis, Indian cigarettes

Editor’s Note:  CRE applauds FDA actions to control adulertated tobacco products. However we encourage FDA to go a step farther and respond to CRE requests to address the adverse health effects of counterfeit cigarettes.


Press Trust of India | Updated: August 11, 2013 14:15 IST

 Washington: US regulator FDA has warned two websites selling ‘bidis’ and Indian cigarettes of strict penal action for sale of adulterated tobacco products in America.

In a warning letter issued to the two websites, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that their several products have been found to be “adulterated” under relevant regulations and did not carry the required permits for sale in the US.

The FDA RCAC and TPSAC Advisory Committees: Please Eliminate the Silo Effect

The Risk Communication Advisory Committee ( RCAC ) is meeting separately and also jointly  with TPSAC.  The RCAC meeting focuses on the adverse health impacts of counterfeit drugs; the TPSAC meeting focuses on harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs} of legitimate cigarettes.

 Why not eliminate the silo effect and spend some time on the adverse health impacts of counterfeit cigarettes?

 TPSAC has never addressed this topic notwithstanding public comments supporting their  addressing this important public policy issue.

 In the attached document  CRE delineates the well established public threat to the public in general, and to juveniles in particular, associated with the counterfeit cigarettes.

As sales increase, e-cigarette debate might also grow

From: Associated Press


RICHMOND, Va. – Companies vying for a stake in the fast-growing electronic cigarette business are reviving decades-old marketing tactics the tobacco industry has used.

They are using cab-top and bus stop displays and sponsoring race cars, while encouraging smokers to “rise from the ashes” and take back their freedom in slick TV commercials featuring celebrities like Jenny McCarthy.

The FDA plans to set marketing and product regulations for electronic cigarettes in the future. But for now, almost anything goes. “Right now it’s the wild, wild west,” said Mitch Zeller of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.