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ACP Strongly Supports FDA’s Plan to Ban Menthol Cigarettes In the U.S.

Statement attributable to:
Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians

Washington, D.C. April 29, 2021 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) is pleased that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will take steps to ban menthol cigarettes across the nation and believes this plan will greatly strengthen public health in America. ACP also supports the FDA’s proposal to prohibit flavored cigars, including those with menthol.

As physicians, we are constantly confronted with the adverse effects of tobacco use and we know the danger they present to our patients’ health. Menthol cigarettes are detrimental to not only an individual’s health but public health as well. Menthol flavoring can be more attractive to new and younger smokers, and the evidence shows that menthol cigarette smokers find it harder to quit than those who smoke nonmentholated cigarettes. The actions announced today are a step towards preventing people from starting to smoke and encouraging those who already do to stop. These efforts will also help reduce health disparities, particularly for Black Americans, who disproportionately use menthol tobacco and are more likely to die of smoking-related conditions.

ACP has long advocated for a ban on flavored tobacco products. Today’s plan is consistent with the recommendations in our 2010 policy paper Tobacco Control and Prevention. In the paper, ACP offered evidence-based recommendations to help control and prevent the use of tobacco through various measures such as banning menthol flavoring in all tobacco products, supporting tobacco use cessation, and implementing youth tobacco education efforts. Sickness and death related to tobacco use can be prevented. The rules and laws that surround the purchase and use of tobacco must be changed in order to end this public health crisis, and ACP believes the FDA should act quickly to initiate rulemaking to eliminate these dangerous products and save lives.

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About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 163,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Contact: Taneishia Bundy, (202) 261-4523, tbundy@acponline.org