The Food and Drug Administration’s Thursday proposal to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavorful tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes make up roughly a third of all cigarette sales in the U.S.
Officials considered banning menthol cigarettes to reduce the number of minorities dying from tobacco-related causes. Only half of U.S. cigar sales are made from flavored cigars.
The FDA said that the proposal doesn’t prohibit the possession or use of flavored cigarettes and/or menthol cigarettes, and those individual consumers can and will not have their rights enforced by the agency.
The FDA stated that it will not enforce its laws against distributors, wholesalers, importers, or retailers that sell, distribute, make, or manufacture such products in the U.S.
Michele Mital is acting director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. She stated that it’s difficult to predict how long it will take for the rule to become effective because of the public input process.
Robert Califf was the FDA commissioner. He stated to reporters that he had asked FDA to keep their urgency because lives could be saved.
Other regulatory actions could be taken
Califf stated that the significant reduction in nicotine was a good thing. These rules are still being developed, so please keep checking back.
Black Leaders are Divided by Menthol Ban Some Black leaders protest the FDA’s claims that the proposal will lower chronic disease rates and save thousands of lives. They asked Congress to stop it from going into effect.
In Minneapolis, a white officer shot and killed civil-rights lawyer Ben Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton in 2020. They claim new rules will give law enforcement yet another reason to target Blacks, potentially putting lives at risk.
A Congressional Black Caucus aide said that the recent push by civil rights leaders has “prompted members [to] consider what might be unintended outcomes.” The CBC is split on the sale of
menthol cigarettes. Many members quickly praised Biden’s efforts.