It was 15 years ago that Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to begin regulating tobacco manufacturing, along with distribution and marketing.

Almost immediately, the FDA decided to ban flavored tobacco products. However, the new rule excluded menthol cigarettes. Then, a couple of years later, an advisory committee said a menthol ban would benefit public health, but no action was taken to ban menthol.

Fast forward to 2020, when the FDA went after and banned some flavored vaping products that they said were being marketed directly to kids... but somehow they excluded menthol again.

Now, in 2024, an Illinois city becomes the first in the state to ban menthol cigarettes, along with flavored tobaccos and vapes, effective immediately.

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Evanston's New Ban Went Into Effect On April 1st, And It Includes More Than Just Menthol Cigarettes, Tobacco, And Vaping Items

In their announcement of the ban, the city of Evanston said they were "safeguarding the public from the predatory marketing practices employed by the tobacco industry, particularly those disproportionately targeting Black consumers and young people, leading to disparate health outcomes."

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According to the new city ordinance, "flavored tobacco product" means more than menthol and includes menthol flavors such as mint, wintergreen, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, honey, or any candy, fruit, dessert, alcoholic beverage, herb, or spice or any tobacco product that contains a cooling or numbing sensation.

This ban also covers flavored cigarettes, cigars, vaping items, pipe tobacco, and rolling papers.

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Here In Illinois, Cook County, Chicago, And River Forest Have Some Restrictions For Selling Flavored Tobacco And Vaping Products, But Only Evanston Has Installed A Ban

As far as the rest of the country goes, Massachusetts became the first state to ban all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, back in 2019. California became the second state to introduce a ban on all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, in 2022.

New York, New Jersey, And Rhode Island all banned the sales of flavored e-cigarettes in 2020. Across the country, 375 communities have issued restrictions on sales of flavored tobaccos and vapes, and 190 cities and towns have banned menthol.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff

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