Legislators engaged on tobacco issues should understand the central role the FDA plays in regulating the industry – and the scientific capabilities and extensive resources the agency applies to the job. On issues like flavor regulation, the FDA can and does evaluate the full scientific picture – including the important role flavors play in helping adult smokers transition to potentially less-harmful products.

We oppose total legislative flavor bans on tobacco products because such bans can create new criminal markets that operate outside the regulatory system and can also result in removal of products from the marketplace that the FDA has concluded are appropriate for the protection of public health – and that means fewer options for adult smokers from cigarettes.

In 2020, we continued to advocate for policies that place the FDA at the center of tobacco product regulation – and ensure adult smokers 21+ continue to have access to FDA-authorized reduced-harm products.

For example, we joined others in opposing legislation in California that would ban most flavored tobacco products, including products that have been authorized by the FDA as "appropriate for the protection of public health," as well as some that have received authorization to communicate reduced exposure information to adult smokers. Because this law would prevent California adult smokers from accessing products that may reduce the harm of smoking and would have hindered tobacco harm reduction goals, we opposed this legislation and participated in the California Coalition for Fairness, which successfully sought to take this issue to the voters of California.

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