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21 States Demand Federal Ban On Menthol Cigarettes

21 States Demand Federal Ban On Menthol Cigarettes

Sacramento, CA: California spearheads a group of 21 states, urging the federal government to implement a prohibition on menthol cigarettes.

The alliance led by California included the states 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 the District of Columbia.

Attorney General Rob Bonta of California led a coalition of 21 states urging the Biden administration to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes. The alliance argues that these cigarettes are consumed to a greater extent by black individuals, LGBTQ individuals, and individuals with mental health issues.

“For far too long, tobacco companies have intentionally targeted specific communities across this nation, particularly communities of color, which has contributed to significant health disparities and inequities,” said Attorney General Bonta.

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The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a regulation in 2022 to limit the use of menthol as a flavoring agent in tobacco. The White House Office of Management and Budget is now in the process of examining this rule.

The FDA intends to diminish the appeal of cigarettes, especially to young people, to lower the chances of non-smokers trying menthol cigarettes and becoming regular smokers.

Bonta asserts that the utilization of menthol cigarettes is notably prevalent among LGBTQ+ smokers, individuals with mental health issues, and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Nevertheless, certain experts argue that these fears lack a basis, as studies examining the prevalence of menthol usage in different states and the incidence of teenage smoking do not establish a correlation between the two.

Moreover, there are alternative and less expensive methods of reducing smoking, such as increasing the accessibility of safer nicotine alternatives like e-cigarettes and traditional smoking cessation services,” stated Guy Bentley and Jacob James Rich, policy experts from the Reason Foundation, in their analysis. In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a prohibition on all vape flavors, excluding menthol and tobacco, for reusable vapes.

However, this restriction did not extend to disposable vapes, including those manufactured by the well-known Elf Bar brand. Despite Congress closing this regulatory gap and mandating that vape companies like Elf Bar submit FDA applications, unauthorized items have persistently been illicitly imported and marketed across the whole country.

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