(HorizonPost.com) – Last week, the Food and Drug Administration sent out proposed regulation changes to finalize a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, CNN reported.
In April, the FDA initially announced that it planned to move forward with the proposed ban as a way to “significantly reduce disease and death” while reducing “youth experimentation and addiction.”
Last Monday, the FDA sent the proposed rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget for the final review.
The FDA’s Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, Dr. Brian King, told CNN that finalizing the ban continues to be a “top priority” for the agency, and posting the rules on the Office of Management and Budget’s website means the FDA has “reached the final step of review for regulatory documents.”
Erica Sward of the American Lung Association called the move “momentous,” saying in a statement that banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars could be “the most significant action” the FDA has taken since it was granted the authority to regulate tobacco products.
The American Lung Association is joining with several other advocacy groups to urge the Office of Management and Budget to quickly act to expedite the review so the ban can be implemented by the end of the year.
However, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, a group representing over 66,000 retailers that sell tobacco products, said in a statement that a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars will force the supply of these products from “responsible, licensed, and regulated retailers” to an already expanding “illicit marketplace.”
The ban on menthol cigarettes is primarily aimed at reducing tobacco-related illnesses and deaths among black smokers as studies show that tobacco companies aggressively targeted black communities with marketing for methol products. A 2020 study found that while only 43 percent of all adults smoke menthol cigarettes, among black smokers, 83 percent prefer menthol.
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