- Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.Food and Drug Administration
Tell the FDA: Ban the Sale of Menthol Cigarettes
Menthol cigarettes are dangerous gateway to a lifetime of smoking. Research shows that menthol cigarettes make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit.
The “minty” sensation of a menthol cigarette masks the harsh reality of cigarette smoke and can lead to a lifelong addiction in adults.
More alarmingly, it is children who have the highest rates of menthol use.
Every day 3,900 children try their first cigarette. More than 950 will become addicted and some time in the future, half of them will die from their habit. In fact, 88 percent of smokers report they begin smoking before they turned 18.
This year alone, 440,000 Americans die from cigarette smoking - deaths that are entirely preventable.
Menthol cigarettes are a deadly and deceptive product. In 2009, the FDA banned flavored cigarettes from the market, but made an exception for menthol cigarettes. It’s time to change that.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is currently accepting public comments on this issue. Use your voice and demand the FDA to protect public health and safety by removing menthol cigarettes from the market immediately.
Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0521
- Food and Drug Administration
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
RE: Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0521
Today 3,900 children will try smoking for the first time. More than 950 will become addicted, and some time in the future, half of them will die from smoking.
Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Every year 440,000 Americans will die because of their addiction.
Thanks to new research, we know menthol cigarettes are one of the key factors that drive this deadly addiction.
The cooling “minty” sensation of menthol masks the harsh effects of smoking, makes it easier to become addicted and harder to quit. Menthol cigarettes are a “gateway” cigarette - especially for children and teens who have the highest rates of menthol use.
Menthol cigarette smokers inhale more deeply, hold smoke in their lungs longer, and ultimately, have a stronger addiction than smokers of regular cigarettes.
It’s long past time to remove these dangerously deceptive products from the market.
The tobacco industry knows their product is lethal - but that doesn’t stop them. They aggressively target young people and minorities - groups most likely to smoke menthol cigarettes and ultimately become lifelong addicts. Menthol cigarettes are one of the only tobacco products that have increased sales in the past decade and are a key part of Big Tobacco’s strategy to keep Americans smoking.
We’ve made great strides in reducing the number of smokers in America. But one in five deaths still result from smoking - an entirely preventable cause of death.
Banning the sale of menthol cigarettes will further reduce the number of smokers in our nation. We urge you to consider these facts and act now, for the health of our nation.
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