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Democratic senators calling for ban on menthol cigarettes

December 23, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — More than a dozen Democratic U.S. senators are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to impose a ban on menthol cigarettes and cigars.

The senators — including Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — said the agency needs to follow through after pledging last month to try to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also pledged to work to tighten rules governing the sale of most flavored versions of electronic cigarettes.

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

In a letter dated Thursday the senators urged Gottlieb to finalize the regulations quickly.

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