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Alliance Calls Upon the FDA to Swiftly Finalize Proposed Rules to Prohibit Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

August 1, 2022. Washington DC – “For decades, the tobacco industry has deliberately targeted youth and Hispanic communities with menthol and flavored products to lure in new generations of smokers. The FDA’s recent moves to prohibit menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars will save lives and advance health equity across this country and we urge FDA to finalize the rule swiftly and enact a 90-day implementation period,” said Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the Nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group.

“The Alliance applauds the FDA for acting on the clear science that evidences the harms of menthol in cigarettes and flavorings in cigars by issuing a pair of proposed rules for bans to protect the public health. However, the demands of the science are not fully addressed until the FDA denies applications for all flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored disposable products being developed to replace e-cigarettes and takes action on banning menthol in e-cigarettes.” emphasized Dr. Delgado.

In a pair of regulatory comments and a letter to the FDA Commissioner today, the Alliance made the case for implementation of rules banning menthol in cigarettes and flavors in cigars as well as urging action on menthol in e-cigarettes and new synthetic nicotine products. The Alliance pointed to 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health data that 51% of Hispanic smokers ages 12 and older used menthol cigarettes and 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey showing that 50.8% of Hispanic middle and high school students who were current smokers reported smoking menthol cigarettes. Furthermore, in 2020, cigars were the second most popular tobacco product among youth after e-cigarettes, with 960,000 middle and high school students currently using cigars.

“Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The time to act on menthol and flavored cigars is now, and there is strong public support for the bans, especially in Hispanic communities. We urge the FDA to swiftly finalize the proposed rules and implement them within 90 days. Moving forward, we urge the FDA to expand its action and end the sale of all flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine, to protect the health of the Nation,” concluded Dr. Delgado.

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About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (The Alliance)
The Alliance is the nation’s foremost science-based source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States with a mission to achieve the best health for all. For more information visit us at www.healthyamericas.org