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Iowa Kids can Breathe Easier as Flavored Cigarettes Get the Boot

September 24, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - Federal regulators now have more authority to control what goes into cigarettes, and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is flexing its new muscle by banning flavored cigarettes from being made, imported, distributed or sold in the United States.

Since most adult smokers start as teenagers, the ban will help stop teens from picking up the habit in the first place, according to Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"We know that one of the ways tobacco companies have targeted youngsters has been with flavors. It makes it easy to smoke, makes it more enticing. This is just one piece of the very large effort it will take to reduce youth smoking."

Congress recently gave the FDA broad powers to regulate the tobacco industry, McGoldrick says. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products will be taking additional steps to make smoking less alluring to kids, he adds, such as limiting advertising in magazines with high youth readership.

"That kind of advertising will be limited to black-and-white text only. We'll get rid of a lot of the colorful image advertising that makes smoking and other tobacco use look so sexy and appealing."

In Iowa, 4,000 kids a year become smokers, McGoldrick warns, and eventually, more than 66,000 Iowa children under age 18 now will die of complications from smoking.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA