White House’s Further Delay of Rule to End Menthol Cigarettes Will Mean More Deaths

Today, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra released a statement saying that more time is needed to review the rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes. The American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement: 

“The American Lung Association is deeply dismayed that the White House continues to delay the lifesaving rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes. Every day that President Biden fails to finalize these rules, he loses an incredible opportunity to reduce the death and disease associated with tobacco use. Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes would have helped eliminate the dramatic health inequities in who uses tobacco products in the United States.

“The Biden administration’s decision to delay gives the tobacco industry more time to predatorily target and hook youth as well as members of historically underrepresented communities, including Black individuals to their deadly products. There is no reason the White House should further delay the opportunity to address the number one cause of death among the Black community in the U.S. and to reduce the number of young people from ever trying tobacco in the first place.

“We stood behind President Biden’s commitment to dramatically reduce cancer deaths in the U.S. through the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, but unfortunately, this ambitious goal is not possible without ending the sale of menthol cigarettes.

“The American Lung Association will not be deterred from our mission: we will continue our work for a tobacco-free future by advocating for this rule to eliminate menthol cigarettes and other proven effective tobacco control policies on the local, state and federal levels.”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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