• April 24, 2024

Attorneys General Urge Menthol Ban

 Attorneys General Urge Menthol Ban

Credit: Jet City Image

Credit: Jet City Image

A coalition of 21 state attorneys general submitted a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget urging the Biden administration to complete its review and swiftly implement proposed bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

“The proposed FDA rules, which are supported by ample evidence, have been long overdue,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta in a press release. “In today’s letter, the coalition specifically highlights calls for action by civil rights and public health groups to remove menthol tobacco products from the marketplace to protect public health and address the systemic and disproportionate impact of these products on minority communities and other vulnerable populations, including young people.”

Bonta said tobacco companies have intentionally targeted specific communities across the nation, particularly communities of color, which has contributed to significant health disparities and inequities.

“The time to act is now,” said Bonta. “I urge the Biden Administration to finally halt the sale of these flavored tobacco products, which will lay the groundwork to reverse decades of disparities in tobacco use and save lives.” 

In the letter, the multistate coalition urges the Biden Administration to finalize its review of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rules without delay.

“As state and territorial chief legal officers, the attorneys general address unfounded claims that the proposed menthol ban will increase illicit trade or criminalize the individual purchase, possession, or use of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars,” the letter states. “The coalition argues that the FDA’s proposed rules are critical steps for advancing health equity and protecting public health. Moreover, banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars will bring the country closer to achieving the Cancer Moonshot, President Biden’s historic push “to end cancer as we know it.”

Bonta co-leads the attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and District of Columbia.

A copy of the letter can be found here.