The Biden administration announced its intention Thursday to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, including menthol.
“Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products. With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D., said in a statement.
Woodcock expressed the hope and belief that these bans would “launch us on a trajectory toward ending tobacco-related disease and death in the U.S.”
The FDA pointed to studies suggesting that a menthol ban would help people quit smoking, noting that menthol makes tobacco more palatable and “facilitates progression to regular smoking, particularly among youth and young adults.”
“One study suggests that banning menthol cigarettes in the U.S. would lead an additional 923,000 smokers to quit, including 230,000 African Americans in the first 13 to 17 months after a ban goes into effect,” the FDA statement said.
Thursday was court-imposed deadline for the FDA to respond to a 2013 citizen petition advocating the ban.
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