NYC Opts For Flavorful Ban

One month after the Food and Drug Administration announced its ban of flavorful,

New York City Council passed a bill with a 46-1 vote further banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. The bill was passed as a direct follow up to the FDA’s ban. Council feared that tobacco companies would begin marketing their products as flavored cigars which in effect would keep their products on shelves. This is viewed as an important step towards reducing the amount of young people who begin smoking.

In recent years the amount of tobacco use in America has declined. However the amount of high school students who smoke cigars and cigarillos has gone from 5 to 14 percent since 2001. A study by the American Cancer Society shows that 90 percent of smokes in America pick up the habit before the age 19. The fact is that when kids don’t begin to smoke chances that they will begin to smoke as adults decrease.

Last month’s ban by the FDA was the first official move to enact the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act signed by President Obama in June. “These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers,” Dr. Margaret A. hamburg, commissioner of food and drugs, said in announcing the ban. The FDA has also begun considering the ban of menthol cigarettes which would be an even greater step towards reducing youth smokers.

“I’m alright with anything that’s anti smoke, this is good because it may also decline smoking marijuana” said Mercy student Pablo Nivar, an advocate against smoking. The fact is the banishment of flavored cigarettes will save millions in health care costs and prevent many people from a lifetime habit of smoking.

The latest moves by federal and local government do not suggest 100 percent success right away. “I support the banishment of flavored products but realize that this may cause negative repercussions,” is how Mercy student Beguis Vazquez feels about the issue.

Many people will smoke regardless of what flavor they can get their hands on. A majority of the cigars sold in stores are used simply as wrapping paper for marijuana.

City council member Lewis Fidler placed the only dissenting vote. Fidler claims that the law was written too broadly and suggests there is no evidence people begin smoking by opting for flavored tobacco.