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Chicago repeals ban on candy-flavored cigarettes after two months
The Chicago CIty council recently banned the sale of "candy-flavored" cigarettes which it said are an insidious attempt by the tobacco industry to lure teenagers, and even younger kids, to smoke. The two-month old ban met a snag yesterday, when council members admitted that under the wording of the ordinance, menthol-flavored cigarettes should also be banned. So the entire ordinance was repealed. Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke said, "What I would like to do now is to repeal what was adopted in error, then go back to the drawing board, sit down with the Law Department and make sure we get this right."
Part of the problem is that these cigarettes contain tobacco, which exempts them from regulation by the FDA. If they were actual candy, the FDA could regulate their sale. In 2004, the U.S. Senate twice voted overwhelmingly to pass FDA legislation that would cover these candy-flavored cigarettes into law. Rep. Tom Delay (R-Tex) has been a leading opponent of the legislation and has helped prevent the bill from coming to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. According to some press reports, every day another 2,000 children become regular smokers. Why should the sale of these cigarettes, which are obviously being used by the major tobacco companies to attract young smokers, be left up to local city councils? I know it's because the tobacco industry gives millions to Congress, but how can that be okay?