Biden administration will likely announce its intention to ban menthol in cigarettes

29 Avril, 2021, 18:20 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • FDA moves to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars

The FDA said it will work to create new product standards within the next year.

While the administration's announcement will reportedly likely be applauded by antismoking organizations as a "critical and long-overdue step" in curtailing tobacco use, in reality "it could be years" before such bans were implemented.

Support has also grown in Congress to enact a ban through legislation, via NYT. Almost half a million Americans die annually due to smoking, according to CDC, including almost 41,000 from secondhand smoke exposure.

"The FDA has taken a historic, life-saving step".

Studies show that menthol flavoring increases the appeal of tobacco products and can lead people, particularly young people, to become regular smokers.

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The ACLU warned Biden the ban would have "serious racial justice implications" for people of color and more "negative interactions with local law enforcement".

Tobacco companies are expected to challenge the decision in court.

"There is not an open question on whether menthol in cigarettes is harmful - the evidence is overwhelming and consistent", Joelle Lester, director of commercial tobacco control programs at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota, told the Post https://wapo.st/3nvuQAM. Should the FDA's decision stand, it would decimate roughly one-third of the USA cigarette market, costing the industry billions. "There will be no massive public health benefit if the response from most menthol and little cigar smokers is to switch to Marlboros or use illicit products bought off the street", Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in a statement that argued the FDA must now allow flavored vaping products to stay on the market as alternatives for former menthol smokers. In the agency's statement, the FDA promised that the ban will only target "manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers and retailers" of menthol products. The agency can not take action against individuals who would possess or use menthol tobacco products. The alleged ban comes as the FDA faces a deadline to respond to a 2013 citizen petition to act on menthol products, which escalated to a court filing in June 2020. With a similar ban up for a vote in California, Governor Gavin Newsom praised the restriction, stating, "I urge the federal government to follow California's leadership to protect public health and advance racial equity by moving to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes".

Jefferson and other health officials note that the cooling flavor makes it easier to pick up smoking - and harder to quit - according to data tracked over decades.

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