The White House removed a provision in the new tobacco rule that would have removed flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, and hookahs from the market starting in November, pending a review of the products by FDA.
Under the proposed regulation, the sale of menthol cigarettes, as well as other flavored tobacco products, would have been prohibited until the reviews were complete.
The American Lung Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and other public health organizations have long called for the removal of flavored tobacco products from the market, citing the obvious appeal of flavors like Cotton Candy, Watermelon, and even “Captain Crunch” to children and teens.
“It is deeply disappointing that the White House missed this opportunity to protect our nation’s children by deleting this provision to remove candy- and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes and cigars from the market,” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew L. Myers said in a written press statement.
He added that the OMB’s move was “inexplicable” given the “overwhelming scientific evidence” the FDA provided to support removing the products from the market.
“No reason was given for the White House’s decision to ignore the scientific evidence about the impact of flavored cigars and e-cigarettes on youth,” Myers said. “Given the weight of the evidence cited by the FDA, it is difficult to imagine a public health justification for the White House decision.”