WASHINGTON, DC | October 16, 2023
Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent two rules that will end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars to the White House for the final regulatory review step. The American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“Once finalized, rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars rule will be the most significant actions that the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has taken in its 14-year history. The American Lung Association is eager for these lifesaving rules to be implemented and urges the White House to finalize these rules before the end of the year.
“The science and data are clear. Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars will save lives. It will also help reduce the unjust disparities in tobacco use caused by the tobacco companies targeting certain communities with menthol cigarettes.
“Research shows that ending the sale of menthol cigarettes would result in a significant number of people quitting smoking. One study estimates almost one million smokers would quit smoking within 17 months of the end of the sale of menthol cigarettes, including almost a quarter of a million Black individuals living in America. After Canada stopped selling menthol cigarettes in 2017, the country saw an increase in quit attempts and cessation among people who smoked menthol cigarettes.
“Resources are already available to help people quit smoking, and more are becoming available soon. The White House recently announced as part of its Cancer Moonshot Initiative that an additional $15 million has been awarded to help communities disproportionately impacted by menthol cigarettes get help to quit. These community-based initiatives join other quit smoking resources, including 1-800-QUIT NOW and smokefree.gov. The American Lung Association also offers resources to help people quit for good, including our free Lung Helpline and Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-LUNGUSA, which is staffed with licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists, and Freedom From Smoking,® which helps individuals create their own unique quit plan, as well as tips and techniques to stay successful in the long run.
“Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America, so it is critical that we do everything we can to reduce the burden on individuals and families. We urge the White House to move quickly to finalize these rules by the end of the year.”
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.
A Breath of Fresh Air in Your Inbox
Join over 700,000 people who receive the latest news about lung health, including research, lung disease, air quality, quitting tobacco, inspiring stories and more!
You will now receive email updates from the American Lung Association.