NATIONAL REPORT — Attorneys general from nearly half of the states are pushing for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take action against menthol cigarettes.
In a letter submitted to the FDA on Jan. 22, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden led a coalition of 23 attorneys general arguing that a ban on menthol cigarettes would benefit public health overall, decrease youth smoking and help mitigate the harm menthol cigarettes do to minority populations.
"I am asking the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes because even though cigarette use has decreased over the years, menthol-flavored cigarettes continue to attract and addict new smokers — particularly youth and minority smokers," Raoul said. "The FDA's own data underscores the need to ban menthol cigarettes, which could save thousands of lives and support state efforts to combat youth smoking."
The letter urges the agency to complete a rulemaking to prohibit the products and implement a ban immediately.
Joining Raoul and Wasden in submitting the letter are the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
To read the full letter, click here.