WASHINGTON, DC | August 2, 2022
Today is the deadline to submit comments for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s two proposed rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The American Lung Association’s National President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“The American Lung Association delivered thousands of constituent comments and a letter signed by more than one thousand healthcare professionals in support of the FDA’s proposed rules to end the sale of the menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. The Lung Association also signed onto comprehensive comments that were joined by more than 100 public health, consumer and health justice organizations, and submitted our own supplemental comments. Both rules have strong support from the foremost experts and well-respected public health and health equity leaders in the country.
“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, primarily caused by the tobacco companies targeting certain communities with menthol cigarettes. When finalized, we believe ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars will be the most significant actions taken by FDA in its almost 13-year history of regulating tobacco products.
“Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in America, resulting in more than 480,000 deaths per year. 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 Americans. After Canada stopped selling menthol cigarettes in 2017, the country saw an increase in quit attempts and cessation among menthol smokers.
“We thank the FDA for advancing these important public health measures, which have lagged for more than a decade. We urge them to move quickly to finalize these rules by the end of the year.”
For media interested in speaking with an expert, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001.
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 Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.