Lautenberg Renews Call for Ban on Flavored Cigars

Cites recent CDC reports on youth, cigar smoking

Frank Lautenberg

NEWARK, N.J. -- U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has renewed his call for a ban on flavored cigars, which he claimed are "surging in popularity" among children and young adults.

He cited the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey just released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) that reports cigar smoking remains popular among high school students, even as overall tobacco use has declined. Among African-American high school students, cigar smoking increased from 7.1% to 11.7% from 2009 to 2011.

Click here to view that report.

Another recent report from the CDC found that large cigar use in the country was up 233% from 2000 to 2011, he said (see Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage).

"Flavored cigars are designed to attract young adults, and the new CDC report indicates Big Tobacco is succeeding in its mission," said Lautenberg. "The federal government must use its full authority over the tobacco industry and ban flavored cigars before the next generation of tobacco users are hooked. The increase in cigar use is troubling, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep our kids healthy and safe."

The Family Smoking Prevention & Tobacco Control Act of 2009 banned flavored cigarettes; however, he claimed some companies are avoiding the ban by marketing their products as flavored cigars, which are not prohibited by law. Senators Lautenberg, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its regulatory authority over tobacco products—including cigars—to issue regulations banning flavored cigars.