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FDA Warning on Selling Illegally Flavored Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters on Monday to companies continuing to sell illegal flavored cigarettes to consumers through their Web sites.

According to the FDA, it is enforcing the ban on flavored cigarette under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. These efforts are part of a multi-level initiative to steer children and youth away from cigarettes.

The FDA requested a written response from each of the companies within 15 days outlining the corrective actions to cease the marketing and sale of these products.

The FDA's warning letters are posted on the agency's site and detail the offending websites and flavored cigarette products.

Nearly 500,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Smoking is responsible for 87% of all lung cancer deaths.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg also points out that 90% of adult smokers started as teenagers.

Prevously, we discussed the list of tobacco products covered under the ban.

In addition, here are some already passed rules which will be going into effect over the next few years:

  • By January 2010, tobacco manufacturers and importers will submit information to the FDA about ingredients and additives in tobacco products.
  • By July 2010, tobacco manufacturers may no longer use the terms "light," "low," and "mild" on tobacco products without an FDA order in effect.
  • By July 2010, warning labels for smokeless tobacco products will be revised and strengthened.
  • By October 2012, warning labels for cigarettes will be revised and strengthened.

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