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Pallone Applauds FDA Proposal to Ban Menthol-Flavored Cigarettes & Flavored Cigars

Apr 28, 2022
Press Release
According to Independent Study, Banning Menthol Cigarettes Could Prevent as Many as 633,000 Smoking Deaths

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today in support of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and flavored cigars.

“Today FDA proposed bold action to save lives and make clear that we will not allow Big Tobacco to continue to market flavored products purposefully designed to make it easier to start smoking. We have long known that tobacco companies use menthol in cigarettes and vape products because menthol makes it easier to start smoking, more addictive, and harder to quit. I am also pleased by FDA’s proposed rule to ban flavors in cigars, a leading reason why young people are enticed to try tobacco products. 

“It’s clear that menthol-flavored cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products harm public health, endanger lives, and should not be on the market. I applaud FDA for doing the right thing to protect the health of American consumers and prevent tobacco related disease and death. I urge the agency to finalize these rules as soon as possible and I look forward to continuing to work with the agency to address youth tobacco usage, especially the marketing of flavored products intended to hook the next generation into a cycle of nicotine addiction.” 

Pallone has long championed efforts to address youth tobacco usage. In 2019, he introduced comprehensive legislation to confront the youth tobacco epidemic, which included provisions to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, ban remote sale of tobacco products, prohibit all characterizing flavors for tobacco products including menthol, and make it unlawful to advertise e-cigarette products to individuals under the age of 21. 

The Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act passed in the House of Representatives in February 2020. Last month, Congress included a provision Pallone authored in the omnibus funding agreement to empower FDA to regulate synthetic nicotine products.