“Marketing of menthol and other flavored tobacco products must be halted, and we should all be aware that this is a social justice issue and one that disproportionately affects youth and communities of color,” said the letter. This edition, whose signatories include the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, NAACP and the National Medical Association, representing African American physicians.
Menthol, the only flavor allowed in cigarettes, was banned by law in 2009, the FDA said it would respond by April 29 to a lawsuit caused by a citizen petition filed seven years ago, which it asked. There is a ban on the use of menthol in cigarettes. Within the agency there is a strong support for the ban on both menthol. Small cigarettes and cigars, which are popular with young people, according to several administrative officials who spoke terms of anonymity, were not allowed to discuss the issue.
The White House is debating whether it will take the first step in the menthol ban.President Biden is almost certain to take part in the decision as each person is familiar with the situation. The public health argument is straightforward, though. But political considerations are more complex.
The action to ban menthol will give the Biden administration the right to brag about what experts say is an obvious health disparity issue. The Obama administration considered the ban. But no action was taken, Scott Gottlieb, who served as FDA director in the Trump administration, pushed for the ban. But the White House suspended the effort amid fierce opposition from industry and congressional partners such as Sen. Richard Burr (R), which represents tobacco’s growing state. North Carolina
Some critics, including some African-American leaders, argued that it was discriminatory to ban a product particularly popular with blacks and could lead to more police confrontations. And African Americans Over the years, some black Congress members have spoken out against the ban, although the resistance has waned in recent years.
Ten organizations that wrote the letter have rejected arguments that the ban would “Making it illegal” to use the product or lead to law enforcement with smokers. They noted that any ban will apply to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, not individual consumers.
The letter states that in 1950, less than 10 percent of black smokers used menthol cigarettes. Today, that proportion is 85 percent, which is about three times the rate of white smokers. Studies have shown that the menthol flavor makes it easier to start smoking and harder to stop. As a result, the letter said it was “devastating.” Although smoking was less and typically started in later years, blacks died of tobacco-related diseases at a higher rate than other groups. Any
The group also noted that maternal smoking remains a leading cause of premature birth and increases the incidence of infant mortality. And, they say, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that smoking increases the risk of the severe COVID-19, which is causing serious blacks in death.
Studies have also shown that menthol is essential to smoking among young people of all races, in part because of menthol’s “cooling” sensation.
Groups say the tobacco industry has run a “calculated campaign” starting in the 1950s to target the African American community by giving out samples. Of menthol cigarettes In neighborhood gatherings, the promotion of menthol tobacco through extensive advertising and support for popular cultural and educational activities in the black community.
When Congress passed the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, authorizing the FDA to regulate cigarettes, it ordered the agency to study menthol in the years that followed, the FDA and outside experts concluded that banning menthol would improve public health. And save lives But an attempt to ban menthol has become a source of political scrutiny.
If the Biden administration goes ahead with its ban, the FDA will have to make a formal proposal and make a public comment before its final rule is passed. And the industry can sue to block the ban.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services said the department will review the letter and respond to the author.
Kaelan Hollon, a spokeswoman for Reynolds American, the maker of Newport, the most popular menthol cigarette, declined to comment on the letter. But, she said, “Science does not support the control of menthol cigarettes unlike non-menthol cigarettes and the issues surrounding menthol smoking bans – the science, illegal trade and unintended consequences are important and should be used. Careful thought “
She added that the company markets its products “to reach a broad and diverse range of adult smokers, regardless of race or gender, with the intention of persuading smokers to choose one of our brands rather than brands.” Grand of one of our competitors “