New HHS Smoking Cessation Framework Lacking Without Addressing Rules to End Sale of Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its 2024 Framework to Support and Accelerate Smoking Cessation. The American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:

“The American Lung Association welcomes the administration’s focus on and desire to improve efforts to help people end their addiction to tobacco. The 2024 Framework to Support and Accelerate Smoking Cessation – the first of its kind – lays out ambitious goals and will be an important tool for the U.S. to reduce the death and disease associated with tobacco use, working towards achieving the goal of preventing four million cancer deaths within the next 25 years. 

“The framework does not include the two pending lifesaving rules awaiting approval at the White House that would end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. As the Lung Association made clear in our comments on the draft framework in July 2023, prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars is essential to eliminating smoking-caused health disparities, and achieving the President’s Cancer Moonshot goals. 

“Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. and claims 45,000 Black lives every year in the U.S. alone. A University of Michigan study estimates that prohibiting menthol cigarettes would save up to 650,000 lives over the next 40 years, including more than 250,000 Black lives. Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes lays the groundwork for reversing decades of disparities in tobacco use, in addition to disease and death in Black and Brown communities.

“This new framework, and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, are hollow unless President Biden stands up to the tobacco industry and finalizes the rules to end menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Families are counting on the President to act. These rules must be finalized now.”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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