Tobacco

FDA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Menthol Ban

Agency gives public 30 more days to share opinions on menthol cigarette, flavored cigar rules
Menthol cigarettes
Photograph: Shutterstock

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Convenience-store retailers have more time to submit comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its proposed rules to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars.  

The agency extended its public comment period through Aug. 2; the previous deadline was July 5.   

“FDA is extending the comment period to a total of 90 days following requests from the public. FDA also received requests to not extend the comment period from public health organizations,” the FDA said. “However, FDA believes that a 90-day comment period is appropriate as it allows adequate additional time for people to fully consider the proposed rules, including specific requests for comments, and develop and submit comments without significantly lengthening the rulemaking proceedings.”

The FDA also held public listening sessions on June 13 and 15 where the public could share its opinion on the proposed rules. These recordings will be posted to the FDA’s website.

To comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for “FDA-2021-N-1349-0001” to find the menthol cigarette rule and “FDA-2021-N-1309-0001” for the flavored cigar rule.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf announced the proposals to prohibit menthol in cigarettes and flavors in cigars on April 28. If these proposed rules are finalized and implemented—which could take several years—FDA enforcement will only address manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers who manufacture, distribute or sell such products within the U.S. that are not in compliance with applicable requirements.

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