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American Lung Association Responds to New York City Failure to Vote on Bill to Prohibit Sale of Menthol Cigarettes

(November 21, 2019) - New York, NY

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Solomon
[email protected]
(516) 680-8927

In response to the decision by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson that he will not allow for a vote at the next Stated Meeting on the bill to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes, the American Lung Association’s Michael Seilback, National Assistant Vice President of State Public Policy, issued the following statement:

“The American Lung Association is disappointed that Speaker Corey Johnson is putting politics ahead of people’s health. Menthol cigarettes have killed thousands of New Yorkers. Permitting these deadly products to continue to be sold is a mistake for public health.”

“Big Tobacco has relied on menthol to make cigarettes more appealing to new smokers, youth and certain racial and ethnic groups especially African Americans. The marketing of menthol cigarettes has been targeted at communities of color for decades.

“The Lung Association has long advocated for an end to the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars because flavors have also been shown to encourage youth use. In 2013, FDA’s own scientific advisory committee found that menthol increases youth initiation and makes it harder for smokers to quit.”

“After months of hearing from communities across New York City about the importance of fighting the tobacco epidemic and ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, Speaker Johnson’s announcement is a win for Big Tobacco and will allow Big Tobacco to hook another generation of kids to menthol cigarettes. The menthol cigarette legislation (Intro 1345) is cosponsored by a majority of the New York City Council and has been endorsed by scores of community groups, elected officials, and faith leaders.”

“We call on the City Council to stand up to Speaker Johnson and demand that he schedule a vote on the menthol cigarette bill.”


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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