FDA Extends Comment Deadline on Proposed Menthol, Cigar Rules


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the comment period to 90 days on proposed product standards to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and prohibit all characterizing flavors (other than tobacco) in cigars. 

Comments are now due August 2, 2022.

The Agency issued the proposals in April and at that time said the agency cannot and will not enforce against individual consumers for possession or use of menthol cigarettes or flavored  cigars.

“If these proposed rules are finalized and implemented, FDA enforcement will only address manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers who manufacture, distribute, or sell such products within the U.S. that are not in compliance with applicable requirements,” the agency explained. “These proposed regulations do not include a prohibition on individual consumer possession or use.”

Menthol cigarette sales make up approximately one-third of the cigarette market. NATSO is concerned that banning the sale of a product that has such a sizeable market share could lead to an increase in illicit markets for the product. NATSO plans to file public comments on the proposals.

The agency convened public listening sessions in June that it said will be posted to the FDA website once available. 


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