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The FDA’s Delay: One Year and Counting

If you could press a button and save lives, how long would you wait to press it? 1 minute? 1 hour? How about a day or a week? What about a year?

Today (April 28, 2023) marks one year since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their proposed rule to prohibit menthol cigarettes. While we are thrilled that the FDA is finally taking this action, we are disheartened that it took a citizen’s petition, a lawsuit (initiated by ASH and our partners), and a year to bring about this rule, and we still aren’t at the finish line.

While we’ve been waiting, approximately 266,000 new Americans have started smoking menthol cigarettes. Approximately 9,900 have died from smoking menthol cigarettes.[1] This delay isn’t just frustrating or inconvenient, it’s costing lives.

But at ASH, we haven’t just been waiting; we’ve been taking action. We have never stopped encouraging local advocates and local governments to pursue menthol bans at the local level. Internationally, we continue to utilize the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to protect the right to health of all from the harms of menthol.

We encourage the FDA to move forward with this rule as expediently as possible. In the meantime, we will keep fighting to protect you and your loved ones from the harms of menthol cigarettes.


[1] https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/31/4/564