The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a rule prohibiting menthol in cigarettes and flavored cigars, which could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives. The move, currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget, is seen as a significant step in tobacco regulation. The American Lung Association sees this as a significant step towards advancing health equity and safeguarding vulnerable communities, particularly in reducing health disparities related to smoking.

In tandem with these efforts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also proposing product standards to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and all characterizing flavors (excluding tobacco) in cigars. These standards are grounded in compelling scientific evidence regarding the addictiveness and harm associated with these products. They build upon the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which already prohibited characterizing flavors in cigarettes in 2009. This initiative aligns with the Administration’s ambitious Cancer Moonshot, aiming to significantly reduce cancer-related deaths over the next 25 years. Recognizing that tobacco use remains a primary cause of cancer and related mortality, these proposed standards represent a crucial step towards improving public health. By reducing the appeal of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, particularly among youth, these measures hold the potential to foster cessation and ultimately save lives. The FDA emphasizes that individual consumers will not be penalized for possession or use, with enforcement focusing on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who fail to comply with the proposed regulations.