Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its commitment to advancing two tobacco product standards to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars:
“I applaud the Biden Administration and FDA for this critical step towards prohibiting menthol in cigarettes and banning all flavored cigars. For decades, the tobacco industry has relied on menthol and other flavors to hook young people, communities of color, and new users on their products. There is clear evidence that menthol leads to greater smoking initiation, and greater addiction and dependence on tobacco products, which makes it harder to quit. There is also no doubt that flavored cigars have contributed to the current rise in youth tobacco usage.
“I’m pleased that FDA is following the science and intends to take this critical action for the protection of public health. Today’s announcement puts the health of the American people above industry interests, and I urge FDA to implement these critical actions as quickly as possible.”
In the 116th Congress, Pallone introduced the Protecting American Lungs and Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act to address the sharp rise in use of tobacco and e-cigarette products among young people, which included a prohibition on all characterizing flavors of tobacco products, including menthol. The House of Representatives passed Pallone’s legislation with bipartisan support last year.
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