NEW YORK, April 29, 2022 – The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World believes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) proposal to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes could become one of the most significant actions in the fight to end the smoking epidemic in the U.S. Menthol cigarettes are disproportionately used by African Americans and prohibiting their sale would help address the health disparities caused by these products.
Tobacco product use is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes at a rate that is far higher than menthol use prevalence in other racial and ethnic groups. The FDA cites modeling studies that indicate if menthol cigarettes were no longer available, smoking rates and deaths due to smoking would decline significantly in the U.S. The “studies also estimate that 324,000 to 654,000 smoking attributable deaths overall (92,000 to 238,000 among African Americans) would be avoided over the course of 40 years.”
While this proposed ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes is an important step, to make lasting progress to end smoking, adult smokers who are addicted to these products and who cannot or will not quit entirely require support. Menthol-flavored harm reduction products (e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy gum, heated tobacco, and snus) provide users with access to alternatives to switching to nonmenthol combustibles or turning to the black market for menthol products.
Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.