Tobacco Companies Continue To Take Advantage of Cigar Loophole

July 28th, 2023

Vaping devices aren’t the only products on the shelves that come in fruity or sweet flavors. A report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids highlights how tobacco companies take advantage of lax regulations on cigars to sell flavored tobacco.

After the Food and Drug Administration banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, tobacco companies started marketing flavored cigars, such as cigarillos. Often, the cigar-makers simply modified the banned flavored cigarettes so they would meet the legal definition of cigars — for instance, changing the material used in the wrapper.  

Between 2000 and 2012, cigarette sales decreased while cigars sales doubled. Cigar sales grew by another 29% by 2016, which the CDC reports was driven mainly by increasing sales of cigarillos, and have continued to grow since then. 

While the report was published in 2013, the regulations allowing flavored cigars have remained the same. However, the FDA recently proposed a rule prohibiting flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes. 

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