FDA approves first menthol-flavored e-cigarette 

It’s a move designed to help adult smokers quit regular cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first menthol-flavored electronic cigarettes for adult smokers in a move that highlights the potential of vaping flavors to reduce the harms of traditional tobacco smoking.

The FDA has given the green light to four menthol e-cigarettes from NJOY, which has recently been acquired by tobacco company Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes.

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The big picture: The decision by the FDA gives credence to the argument of vaping companies that their products can help mitigate the negative effects of smoking, which leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the US annually from lung, cancer, and heart disease.

  • The authorization of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes is part of a broad FDA review of the multibillion-dollar vaping industry, which has faced protracted delays in regulation in the past. 
  • Currently, there are thousands of fruit and candy-flavored vapes available on the market that are technically illegal but remain unregulated.

What they’re saying: “Based upon our rigorous scientific review, in this instance, the strength of evidence of benefits to adult smokers from completely switching to a less harmful product was sufficient to outweigh the risks to youth,” said Matthew Farrelly from the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

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