The Food and Drug Administration might make the move to ban menthol cigarettes. The court-ordered deadline to respond to the 2013 citizens’ petition is this Thursday. When the petition was first sent to the FDA asking them to ban flavored cigarettes the agency failed to act.
After that, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking and Health sued the FDA. However, it is unclear if the ban will include electronic cigarettes or any other tobacco products. The lawsuit only mentions regular cigarettes.
If the ban is passed it would be a while before menthol cigarettes would no longer be on shelves. Menthol cigarettes are more addictive than any other tobacco products because menthol cools the throat. This makes the tobacco less harsh when inhaled.
Black people account for 85% of menthol cigarette smokers and are much more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. And black men die at a higher rate from lung cancer than any other race in the U.S.
The CDC and the National Institutes of Health recently announced plans to address structural racism. Menthol cigarettes are already banned in Canada.
We will keep you updated on this issue.
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