FDA Moves Forward on Ban of Menthol Cigarettes

FDA Moves Forward on Ban of Menthol Cigarettes

(DailyDig.com) – Public health advocates have praised the FDA’s plan to finally prohibit menthol cigarettes, arguing that doing so would benefit public health and discourage youngsters from starting a smoking habit.

Health experts have said that the prohibition on these goods, together with the flavored cigar ban, is a major step toward reducing the number of avoidable deaths caused by smoking. Over a third of the tobacco sold in the US is menthol. Antismoking advocates claim that this makes it more difficult for smokers to stop the habit, which worsens their health.

The FDA recently submitted the final text of its proposed restriction to the budget office of the White House.

The FDA first recommended banning menthol in April 2022, but it missed its own deadline of August 2023 to officially implement the restriction. Claims that menthol items, which help conceal tobacco’s flavor with a refreshing feeling, had greater addictiveness than regular cigarettes prompted the change, which has been in the works for years.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids CEO, Yolonda Richardson, said that these measures would prevent youngsters from becoming addicted to tobacco, improve their health, and save thousands of lives if put into effect.

The tobacco trade has spoken out against the ban and is likely to sue to overturn the regulations. Tobacco corporations have argued that there is no correlation between menthol’s presence in cigarettes and new smokers taking up the habit or becoming more addicted to nicotine. The statute that gives the FDA its authority, according to some experts, doesn’t need such a high standard of evidence.

The FDA has said that only manufacturers, distributors, and retailers would be impacted by enforcement, not individuals. Tobacco control advocates argue that eliminating chocolate and fruit flavors from cigars would deter minors and young people from trying and becoming habitual smokers.

Whether the ban were to go into effect, it would be instructive to see whether menthol smokers gave up the habit or switched to electronic cigarettes or regular tobacco cigarettes.

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