Save Lives, Not Menthol
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in June 2009, gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) some authority to regulate tobacco products. The law made the sale of most flavored cigarettes illegal in order to protect youth but, unfortunately, exempted menthol-flavored cigarettes, the flavor used by most youth tobacco users.
The legislation required the FDA to conduct a scientific review of menthol. The FDA's Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) scientific review found menthol is linked to youth beginning tobacco use and increased tobacco use, especially among youth and African Americans, and said removing menthol would benefit public health.
It's now up to to the FDA on whether to add menthol to the list of banned flavors for tobacco products. We need your help.
Who Uses Menthol:
Menthol accounts for around 25% of the cigarette market and is the flavor most used by teens. Among high school smokers in the U.S., 43% smoke menthol cigarettes. The breakdown of menthol use by race/ethnicity for high school smokers:
§ Black/African American 84%
§ Hispanic/Latino 56%
§ Asian American 43%
§ White 37%
Tobacco Industry Use of Flavors/Menthol to Addict Youth:
The tobacco industry's once secret documents reveal how they have used flavors like menthol to addict youth to tobacco.
"Our profile taken locally shows this brand being purchased by black people (all ages), young adults (usually college age), but the base of our business is the high school student." Quote from internal document from Lorillard Tobacco (maker of Newport)
Removing Menthol Will Save Lives:
A National Cancer Institute survey of Black and White adult menthol users found almost 40% would quit instead of use another tobacco product. A study published in the May 2011 American Journal of Public Health found removing menthol could save more than 600,000 lives.
Take Action - Support the Removal of Menthol:
Join the list of individuals, organizations, government agencies, and others calling on the FDA to remove menthol flavoring from tobacco products.