FDA issues warnings to four tobacco product manufacturers for flavored cigarettes
Four tobacco manufacturers received warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for illegally selling flavored products labeled as little cigars or cigars that the agency says are actually cigarettes.
70 percent of all current youth tobacco users report using flavored products in the past 30 days
Cigarettes with characterizing flavors are banned under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, but the ban does not cover other tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, hookah, cigars and little cigars or cigarillos.
This gap in product regulation allows the tobacco industry to continue using flavors, including menthol, to attract youth. Research has shown that flavored tobacco products are often perceived as less harmful, and an estimated 70 percent of all current youth tobacco users report using flavored products in the past 30 days.
The four manufacturers—Swisher International Inc., Cheyenne International LLC, Prime Time International Co. and Southern Cross Tobacco Company Inc.—produce the “Swisher Sweets,” “Cheyenne,” “Prime Time” and “Criss-Cross” brands of cigars and little cigars that come in a variety of flavors including grape, cherry, wild cherry and strawberry.
Truth Initiative® and other public health groups have urged the FDA to step up its efforts and ultimately ban all flavors across all tobacco products. While there is much work to do, we applaud the FDA’s action to hold these manufacturers accountable for illegally selling flavored cigarettes.