The FDA is considering a rule banning menthol in cigarettes and flavored cigars, a move experts believe could save lives. The American Lung Association sees this as a significant step towards promoting health fairness and protecting communities at higher risk, particularly in addressing smoking-related health gaps.

In addition, the FDA is also suggesting product standards that would prohibit menthol as a defining flavor in cigarettes and all defining flavors (except for tobacco) in cigars. These standards are based on strong scientific evidence about how addictive and harmful these products can be. They build upon the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which already banned defining flavors in cigarettes back in 2009. This effort aligns with the Administration’s ambitious Cancer Moonshot, which aims to significantly reduce deaths related to cancer in the next 25 years. Knowing that tobacco use is still a major cause of cancer and related deaths, these proposed standards are a crucial move towards enhancing public health. By making menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars less appealing, especially to young people, these measures could encourage quitting and ultimately save lives. The FDA wants to make it clear that individual consumers will not face penalties for having or using these products; enforcement will mainly target manufacturers, distributors, and retailers who do not comply with the proposed rules.