U.S. FDA proposes ban on menthol cigarettes

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on April 29, 2021 - Duration: 01:25s

U.S. FDA proposes ban on menthol cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, a long-awaited win for anti-smoking and civil rights groups but one that could erase a huge share of sales for the Big Tobacco.

Freddie Joyner has more


U.S. FDA proposes ban on menthol cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the United States… a win for anti-tobacco and civil rights groups, but a move that could erase a huge chunk of sales for cigarette manufacturers.

For decades, anti-smoking groups have sounded the alarm on menthol cigarettes, arguing they contribute to disproportionate health burdens on Black communities and play a major role in luring young people into smoking.

The FDA was forced to act by Thursday – a court-imposed deadline - to respond to a citizen's petition from 2013 seeking a ban on menthol cigarettes.

The ban, however, is likely to take years to implement with looming legal challenges from the tobacco industry.

Altria Group and Reynolds America, a unit of British American Tobacco, said they would evaluate the latest proposal, but stated that the published science on the matter does not support regulating or banning menthol cigarettes.

Imperial's U.S. business, ITG Brands, said the announcement was disappointing, but not unexpected.

Menthol cigarettes, already banned in many U.S. states including California and Massachusetts, still account for more than a third of the industry's overall market share even as smoking rates have declined.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said Thursdat the FDA’s latest move could be the "strongest action" that the United States "has ever taken to drive down the number of kids who start smoking."

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