The new federal ban on flavored cigarettes took effect today, marking one of the first visible signs of the Food and Drug Administration's new authority to regulate tobacco. The ban on manufacturing, importing, marketing and distribution includes candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes, which health authorities say are more appealing to youth. It does not include a ban on menthol or other flavored tobacco products—issues the FDA is studying.
Citing research studies, the director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products says 17-year-old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25. FDA officials also said that almost 90% of adult smokers start smoking as teenagers and the ban will help stop more than 3,600 young people who start smoking daily. (Read more smoking stories.)