FDA taking steps to ban menthol cigarettes
Studies have shown that menthol makes smoking more appealing. The FDA says the ban would help prevent young and new users from picking up the habit.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — It’s an effort that U.S. health officials say will save hundreds of thousands of lives. The FDA is making a move to ban menthol in cigarettes and all flavored cigars.
“For far too long, certain populations have been targeted and disproportionately impacted by tobacco use,” said Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.
Studies have shown that menthol makes smoking more appealing. By getting rid of it, the FDA says it would help prevent young and new users from picking up the habit.
Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said, “Cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that when used as intended will kill about half of all users prematurely.”
They also say it would promote better health equity as anti-smoking campaigns haven’t been universally successful.
“In the United States, compared to non-Hispanic White smokers, significantly fewer Black smokers support long-term quitting and Black smokers are more likely to die of tobacco-related disease than White smokers,” commented Zeller.
The FDA hopes to have the ban in place in a year.