White House Announcement Shows… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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White House Announcement Shows Commitment to Eliminating Menthol Cigarettes and Expanding Efforts to Help Smokers Quit

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
September 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids welcomes today’s announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration of new investments to help increase adoption, implementation and enforcement of policies prohibiting the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products and to increase the availability and awareness of smoking cessation services among populations experiencing tobacco-related disparities. Critically, the Administration’s plan – announced as part of the White House Cancer Moonshot project – includes new smoking cessation resources for underserved communities, including American Indian, Alaska Native and Black communities, to reduce cancer health disparities and encourage and help people who smoke menthol cigarettes to quit.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Administration’s commitment not only to eliminating menthol cigarettes, but to effectively implementing this policy and maximizing its benefits in helping smokers quit, advancing health equity and saving lives. This announcement reflects the Administration’s recognition that reducing smoking is critical to achieving the goals of the Cancer Moonshot, which is aimed at reducing the U.S. cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years. As the White House has stated, smoking is “the biggest single driver of cancer deaths in this country.” Smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths and over 80% of deaths from lung cancer, the leading cancer killer. No single action would have a greater impact in saving lives from cancer – and reducing cancer-related disparities – than to drive down smoking and help more smokers quit.

We applaud President Biden and his Administration for their leadership in advancing these bold initiatives. We urge the Administration and the FDA to issue final rules this year to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, as they have said they will do. We cannot afford further delays in ending the tobacco industry’s decades-long targeting of Black and other communities with menthol cigarettes, which are more addictive, easier for kids to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is committed to doing everything we can to support the Administration in implementing a prohibition on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and ensuring all smokers get the support they need to quit. We also applaud the organizations that have made commitments today to help expand and promote smoking cessation services as part of the White House Cancer Moonshot, including the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, CVS Health and the National LGBT Cancer Network.