"Flavored cigars are designed to attract young adults, and the new CDC report indicates Big Tobacco is succeeding in its mission," he said. "The federal government must use its full authority over the tobacco industry and ban flavored cigars before the next generation of tobacco users are hooked.
Lautenberg and other Democrats, including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), have previously called for a ban on flavored cigars. In April, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that the Food and Drug Administration release regulations banning flavored cigars, as part of the 2013 spending bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and related agencies.
The two senators noted then that a 2009 law banned flavored cigarettes, but still allows tobacco companies to market flavored cigars.
"Because the law banned flavored cigarettes, many companies turned to flavored cigars to help attract and retain young customers," Durbin said in April. "Cigars with candy-like flavorings such as strawberry, watermelon, vanilla and chocolate are marketed to young people, and get them hooked on this deadly and addictive habit at a young age."