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FDA plan would ban menthol cigarettes, crack down on flavored cigars and vapes

Packs of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products are shown at a store in San Francisco in May 2018. On Thursday, May 15, 2018, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb pledged to ban menthol from cigarettes, in what could be a major step to further push down U.S. smoking rates. [Associated Press]
Packs of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products are shown at a store in San Francisco in May 2018. On Thursday, May 15, 2018, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb pledged to ban menthol from cigarettes, in what could be a major step to further push down U.S. smoking rates. [Associated Press]
Published Nov. 15, 2018

NEW YORK — A top U.S. health official is pledging to try to ban menthol from regular cigarettes, outlaw flavors in all cigars and tighten rules regarding the sale of most flavored versions of e-cigarettes.

Scott Gottlieb of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration disclosed the plans on Thursday.

The move represents a major step to further push down U.S. smoking rates, which have been falling for decades.

The restrictions are mainly aimed at reducing smoking in kids: About half of teens who smoke cigarettes choose menthols and flavored e-cigarettes have been blamed for a recent increase in teen vaping rates.