Today, City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance that will end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the city. The American Lung Association’s National President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“Today, the City of Los Angeles became the largest city in the United States to adopt an ordinance restricting the sale of flavored tobacco—including menthol. This tremendous step in public health will save lives and will pave the way for other cities across the country to prioritize health above Big Tobacco profits.
“This action by Los Angeles will help reduce the unjust disparities in tobacco use, primarily caused by tobacco companies targeting specific communities, especially through menthol cigarettes. Every day these extremely addictive products remain on the market, our kids are at risk. The marketing of flavors, including menthol, is one of the primary reasons youth begin using tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit. The use of menthol is highest among Black and Brown communities and the lesbian, gay and bisexual population.
“We thank both the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti for their leadership in enacting this lifesaving public health measure. We urge other jurisdictions across the country to adopt comprehensive ordinances that keep dangerous flavored tobacco products off the shelves and protect public health. Today we celebrate this public health victory, but also strongly urge California residents to Vote Yes on the California statewide ballot measure to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products this November. In addition, we are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quickly finalize proposed rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars nationwide.”
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.