FDA to crack down on menthol cigarettes, flavored vapes

FDA to crack down on menthol cigarettes, flavored vapes
FILE - This May 17, 2018 file photo shows packs of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products at a store in San Francisco. On Thursday, May 15, 2018, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb pledged to ban menthol from cigarettes, in what could be a major step to further push down U.S. smoking rates. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

NEW YORK (AP) — A top U.S. health official is pledging to try to ban menthol from regular cigarettes, outlaw flavors in all cigars and tighten rules regarding the sale of most flavored versions of e-cigarettes.

Scott Gottlieb of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration disclosed the plans on Thursday.

The move represents a major step to further push down U.S. smoking rates, which have been falling for decades.

The restrictions are mainly aimed at reducing smoking in kids: About half of teens who smoke cigarettes choose menthols and flavored e-cigarettes have been blamed for a recent increase in teen vaping rates.