Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The newly-established FDA tobacco advisory panel has the opportunity to take a bold step and ban menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes are popular with young smokers -- 62 percent of middle-school smokers begin with menthol cigarettes. And, about 75 percent of African American smokers use menthol brands. These two groups are heavily targeted by tobacco companies, which says menthol cigarettes are no more dangerous than other cigarettes. But, Congress and the FDA had no problem banning other favors like chocolate and clove. What’s the big deal here? How about $18 billion dollars a year? The tobacco industry won’t give up on menthol without a strong fight. Health advocates need to continue to make the case for a ban.
Read the Washington Post article on menthol - "FDA panel mulls putting limits on menthol cigarettes".
Vice President, Policy and Programs