updated 9/22/2009 1:17:30 PM ET 2009-09-22T17:17:30

The new federal ban on flavored cigarettes has taken effect.

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The ban is one of the first visible effects of a new law giving the FDA wide-ranging authority to regulate the tobacco industry. It includes cigarettes with candy, fruit and clove flavors.

Officials say flavored cigarettes are a gateway to smoking for young people. Studies cited by the FDA have shown that 17-year-old smokers are three times as likely to use flavored cigarettes as smokers over the age of 25.

The FDA sent a letter to the industry last week discussing the ban and its plans for enforcement.

In June, President Barack Obama signed the law that allows the FDA to regulate tobacco, though it can't ban nicotine or tobacco outright.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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