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Support the FDA’s move to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars – and tell them to act quickly!

On April 29, 2021, the FDA made a historic decision to put an end to decades of predatory marketing by Big Tobacco to kids and Black Americans and start the process of banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. This is a truly momentous action to protect kids from tobacco addiction, advance health equity and save lives. Sign our petition urging the FDA to move swiftly to turn this decision into life-saving action.

 

 

To the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

We strongly support the FDA’s bold commitment to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and urge the FDA to swiftly finalize and implement this lifesaving policy.

The FDA’s decision to prohibit these products is a truly historic action to protect kids from tobacco addiction, advance health equity and save lives, especially among Black Americans.

  • It will crack down on the tobacco industry’s most pernicious tactic for luring and addicting kids – the marketing of flavored products like menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
  • It will end the industry’s predatory targeting of Black communities with menthol cigarettes – a form of institutional racism that has taken a devastating toll on Black lives and health, is a major cause of health disparities, and must be stopped once and for all.

This policy is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence.

As the FDA itself concluded in a 2013 scientific report, menthol makes cigarettes easier for kids to start smoking, more addictive and harder for smokers to quit.

  • Half of all kids who ever try smoking start with menthol cigarettes.
  • Because of the tobacco industry’s targeted marketing, 85% of Black smokers now smoke menthol cigarettes, compared to less than 10% in the 1950s.
  • Menthol cigarettes are a major reason why Black Americans have a harder time quitting smoking and are more likely to die from tobacco-related diseases like lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. 

In addition, cheap, flavored cigars – sold in hundreds of flavors like banana smash, cherry dynamite and chocolate, as well as menthol – have flooded the market in recent years and fueled the popularity of these products with kids. According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, cigars are now the most popular tobacco product among Black high school students and the second most popular tobacco product (after e-cigarettes) among all high school students

While the FDA said it would issue proposed rules within the next year, we urge you to expedite this time frame and quickly turn this commitment into lifesaving action. We cannot afford any more delays to protect kids and save lives.