The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed two product standards in April 2022 aimed at banning flavored tobacco and menthol products. According to FDA, the proposed product standard would “reduce the appeal of cigarettes, particularly to youth and young adults, and thereby decrease the likelihood that nonusers who would otherwise experiment with menthol cigarettes would progress to regular smoking.”
The action builds on the restrictions to prevent underage users from obtaining the products enacted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 and supports the Biden-Harris administration’s relaunched Moonshot Initiative because of its impact cancer prevention.
“The proposed rules would help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said. “Additionally, the proposed rules represent an important step to advance health equity by significantly reducing tobacco-related health disparities.”
ONS’s position statement on the Use of E-Cigarettes and Vaping calls for FDA regulation of those products, and FDA’s new product standards are another step forward in that goal. Tobacco regulation protects underage users from exposure to well-documented carcinogens. Oncology nurses must advocate for additional e-cigarette regulation and speak out in their communities as leaders about the potential harms the products may cause.