Menthol and fruit flavors make cigarettes more enticing and more addictive.
The issue isn't new, Gottlieb noted, as concerns have swirled around how flavors in tobacco products appeal to youth and can be a factor in people starting to use tobacco at a young age.
As summarized in the FDA's regulatory notice today, youth consistently report flavors as a key reason for using tobacco products.
E-cigarette could lead to more than 1.5 million years of life lost, according to a new study.
E-cigarettes do far more harm than good, says a recently released study funded by the National Health Institutes of the United States.
The FDA notice also examined whether there is evidence that flavors can play a role in "facilitating transition from cigarettes to tobacco products that may pose less risk".
FDA seeks data on role of flavors in tobacco addiction
The model estimates that use of e-cigarettes in 2014 in the U.S. would lead to an additional 2,070 adults quitting smoking in 2015.
A 2009 federal law banned the sale of most flavored cigarettes.
It concluded: "E-cigarette use now represents more population-level harm than benefit". I will be calling on the FDA to fulfill this moral mandate and expand this proposal to all tobacco products.
On Tuesday, it started asking for more input on how menthol and other flavorings make cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products more addictive and unsafe and, if so, what it should do about that. The evidence should compel the FDA to ban the use of all flavors in tobacco products unless a manufacturer provides scientific evidence to the agency demonstrating that allowing a specific flavor in a product benefits public health.
"Making cigarettes less addictive by reducing nicotine levels would be a monumental public health triumph, saving millions of Americans from lifetimes of addiction and illness", Blumenthal, who joined 13 Senators past year in denouncing the FDA's delayed action on lowering nicotine levels, said.