The Maryland Attorney General has joined the lawsuit started by the African American Leadership Council to compel the FDA to ban menthol in tobacco products as recommended by the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (“TPSAC”) in 2011. The TPSAC conducted extensive research and review of the scientific evidence concerning the public health impacts of menthol in cigarettes. TPSAC submitted a report concluding that the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would have public health benefits.
“Attorney General Josh Stein today called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban menthol cigarettes. A menthol cigarette ban would benefit public health, decrease youth smoking, and help mitigate harm to communities of color.
‘Menthol cigarettes are designed to be easier to smoke,’ said Attorney General Josh Stein. ‘That means they make it easier to get hooked. What’s more, they’re marketed in ways that disproportionately harm young people and people of color. I urge the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes and help us prevent another generation of North Carolinians from become addicted to nicotine and suffering the consequences in years to come.’
In a letter to the FDA, Attorney General Stein and a bipartisan coalition of 23 attorneys general argue that such a prohibition would save thousands of lives and should be implemented immediately. Despite the overall decline in non-menthol smoking, the prevalence of menthol smoking has remained constant in recent years and disproportionately impacts youth and communities of color. The attorneys general state that menthol cigarettes remain a major barrier to smoking cessation and the reduction of smoking-related health conditions.
A copy of the full letter is available HERE