National Alliance for Hispanic Health Calls on the House Appropriations Committee to Stand Up to Big Tobacco
June 12, 2023. Washington, DC — Today, as the U.S. House of Representatives begins Appropriations Bill markups, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (Alliance) called on the Committee on Appropriations to remove Sections 768 and 769 from the FY24 Agriculture Appropriations bill. These provisions would prohibit the FDA from using funds to implement proposed rules to ban menthol in cigarettes, flavors in cigars, or establish maximum nicotine levels.
“The only reason Sections 768 and 769 made it into the draft Appropriations bill is that Big Tobacco stands to lose billions in revenue with a ban on menthol cigarettes…the health and lives of the American people should be more important than the money and influence of Big Tobacco,” said Jane L. Delgado, PhD, MS, President and CEO of the Alliance, the Nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group, in a letter to Committee Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member DeLauro.
The Alliance pointed to key data showing that Hispanic communities have been disproportionately targeted by tobacco industry menthol advertising and promotion. CDC data show that half (51%) of Hispanic smokers and 80% of non-Hispanic Black smokers use menthol cigarettes, compared to 34% of non-Hispanic White smokers. Among Hispanic youth, 51% of those who smoke cigarettes use menthol, compared to 40% of non-Hispanic Black youth and 46% of non-Hispanic White youth. Additionally, between 2019 and 2020, Hispanic youth reported the largest increase in flavored tobacco product use across all racial/ethnic groups. According to a recent study, the proposed bans on menthol in cigarettes and cigars would prevent 650,000 smoking and vaping-attributable deaths by 2060.
“We have seen the devastating tolls of menthol and tobacco industry promotion in our communities. The Alliance urges the House Committee on Appropriations to save lives and remove these harmful provisions. This unconscionable move by the tobacco industry and their lobbyists must be stopped.” concluded Dr. Delgado.
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