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WASHINGTON -- In a letter to the tobacco industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted manufacturers, retailers and distributors that as of Sept. 22, 2009, cigarettes that contain flavors other than tobacco or menthol are considered adulterated and illegal under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), which gave the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco earlier this year.
The flavor ban applies to all tobacco products that meet the definition of a cigarette in the FFDCA, even if they are not labeled as "cigarettes," or are labeled as cigars or as some other product.
As of Sept 22, tobacco products parts that fail to comply are deemed adulterated, and if sold or held for sale in the United States, they may be subject to seizure, the FDA stated. In addition, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may be subject to injunction actions, civil money penalties, and/or criminal prosecution for violating the requirements of the FFDCA.
The removal from the market of cigarettes that contain certain characterizing flavors is an important step in FDA’s efforts to reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco products, the organization wrote in the letter.
Questions about the law can be sent to: Tobacco2@fda.hhs.gov.
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