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Menthol ban comment period extended

21 Jun 2022. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the comment period for the menthol ban by another 30 days, reports NACS.

The extension comes after different associations such as NACS, NATSO and SIGMA had asked the FDA to prolong the comment period by 60 days. The agency is proposing to ban menthol as a characterizing flavour in cigarettes and ban all flavours other than tobacco in cigars, reports NACS. The FDA has now agreed to push back the deadline for comments by an additional 30 days and is now accepting comments until 2 August instead of 5 July.

“Given the complexity of the rules, the extensive data to analyse, and the impact to the marketplace to consider, the Associations are requesting a 60-day extension of the comment period. This additional time will ensure the Associations and our retail members can provide FDA with detailed and meaningful comments on these complex issues,” the associations wrote in their letter to the FDA.

“We have received a number of requests for a 60-day extension of the comment period for both proposed rules, which conveyed concern that the current 60-day comment period does not allow sufficient time to develop a meaningful response to the proposed rules,” a statement by the FDA reads. “Several organizations have requested that FDA close the comment period after 60 days, conveying that 60 days is enough time to receive meaningful responses and stressed a public health urgency with both product standards.”

“We believe that a 90-day comment period is appropriate as it allows adequate time for interested persons to fully consider the proposed rules, including specific requests for comments, and develop and submit comments without significantly lengthening the rulemaking proceedings,” the statement added.