123 Leading Organizations Urge President Biden: Act Now to Eliminate Menthol Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today, 123 leading civil rights, public health, medical, faith, youth-serving and other organizations placed a full-page ad in The Washington Post and issued a joint statement urging the Biden Administration to issue final rules this month to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, meeting a deadline the Administration set in December.

The ad and joint statement underscore the strong and broad support across the nation for the FDA’s proposed rules to eliminate menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, including from organizations representing populations that have been targeted by the tobacco industry and disproportionately harmed by these deadly and addictive products.

“President Biden, we stand united. Act now to eliminate menthol cigarettes,” the ad states.

“These rules are supported by overwhelming scientific evidence, they will have enormous benefits for our nation’s health, and they are critical to achieving top priorities of the Biden Administration, especially the President’s Cancer Moonshot and the Administration’s commitment to promoting health equity,” the joint statement reads.

“We were deeply disappointed in December when the Administration delayed issuing these long-overdue rules. As tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing nearly half a million Americans every year, any further delay in issuing the final rules will result in needless disease, suffering and deaths. The Administration must stand up to the tobacco industry and act now to save lives.”

The full statement and list of organizations joining the statement and ad follow.

Joint Statement Urging the Biden Administration to Immediately Issue Final Rules Prohibiting Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

Our organizations are united in our strong support for the FDA’s proposed rules to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, and we call on the Biden Administration to issue the final rules this month, the deadline the Administration set in December when it issued the Fall 2023 Unified Agenda of regulatory actions. These rules are supported by overwhelming scientific evidence, they will have enormous benefits for our nation’s health, and they are critical to achieving top priorities of the Biden Administration, especially the President’s Cancer Moonshot and the Administration’s commitment to promoting health equity.

We were deeply disappointed in December when the Administration delayed issuing these long-overdue rules. As tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing nearly half a million Americans every year, any further delay in issuing the final rules will result in needless disease, suffering and deaths. The Administration must stand up to the tobacco industry and act now to save lives.

These rules will have a profound impact on our nation’s health. Once implemented, they will:

  • Protect America’s kids from tobacco addiction. Menthol cigarettes are a “starter product” for youth because menthol cools and numbs the throat, masking the harshness of tobacco smoke. Half of all youth who have ever tried smoking started with menthol cigarettes. Flavored cigars, sold in hundreds of kid-friendly flavors, also attract kids and endanger their health.
  • Advance the President’s Cancer Moonshot. As the Administration has stated, smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. and is “the biggest single driver of cancer deaths in this country.” These rules represent some of the most impactful actions the Administration can take to save lives from cancer, and research shows that prohibiting menthol cigarettes would help close the disparity in lung cancer death rates between Black Americans and other racial groups sooner than it otherwise would have.
  • Promote health equity. These rules will especially improve the health of Black and other communities that have long been targeted by the tobacco industry with predatory marketing for these products. The industry has particularly targeted the Black community, causing devastating and disproportionate harm to the health of Black Americans. Other populations disproportionately impacted by menthol cigarettes include Hispanic and Asian Americans, the LGBTQ+ community, women, people with limited incomes, and people with mental health conditions.
  • Save hundreds of thousands of lives. Researchers estimate that prohibiting menthol cigarettes will save up to 654,000 lives within 40 years, including 255,000 Black lives.

Given these enormous benefits, the Biden Administration has an obligation to issue the final rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars without further delay. We urge President Biden and his Administration to seize this historic opportunity to improve our nation’s health, promote health equity and save lives from cancer and other tobacco-related diseases. Delays cost lives, and inaction is unacceptable.

100 Black Men of America, Inc.

67th Precinct Clergy Council

Academic Pediatric Association

Academy of General Dentistry

Action on Smoking & Health

African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

Allergy & Asthma Network

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

AME Church – Social Action Commission

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association for Cancer Research

American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research

American Association for Respiratory Care

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American College Health Association (ACHA)

American College of Cardiology

American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST)

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American College of Physicians

American College of Preventive Medicine

American Dental Association

American Heart Association

American Indian Cancer Foundation

American Lung Association

American Medical Association

American Medical Women’s Association

American Pediatric Society

American Pharmacists Association

American Public Health Association

American School Health Association

American Society of Addiction Medicine

American Society of Hematology

American Thoracic Society

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights

Arc of Justice

Asian American Christian Collaborative

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence

Association of American Cancer Institutes

Association of Black Cardiologists

Association of Black Women Physicians

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs

Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Big Cities Health Coalition

Black Women’s Health Imperative

BlackDoctor.org

Breathe DC

Breathe PA

Breathe Southern California

CADCA

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

CATCH Global Foundation

Catholic Health Association of the United States

CenterLink: The Community of LGBTQ Centers

Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS

Community Wellness Alliance

COPD Foundation

Counter Tools

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

DC Tobacco Free Coalition

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Doctors for America

Emphysema Foundation of America

First Focus on Children

Free ME from Lung Cancer

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality

GO2 for Lung Cancer

HealthHIV

Healthy Americas Foundation

Hope for Stomach Cancer

IntelliQuit

Leadership Council for Healthy Communities

League of United Latin American Citizens

LUNGevity Foundation

March of Dimes

Mocha Moms, Inc.

NAACP

National Alliance for Hispanic Health

National Association of County and City Health Officials

National Association of Hispanic Nurses

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

National Association of School Nurses

National Black Empowerment Council

National Black Justice Coalition

National Black Nurses Association

National Center for Health Research

National Coalition for LGBTQ Health

National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)

National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention

National Hispanic Council on Aging

National Hispanic Medical Association

National LGBT Cancer Network

National Medical Association

National Network of Public Health Institutes

North American Quitline Consortium

Oncology Nursing Society

Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes

Pediatric Policy Council

Prevent Cancer Foundation

Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation/Tobacco 21

Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association

Public Health Law Center

Public Health Solutions

Respiratory Health Association

Right 2 Breathe

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Save A Girl Save A World

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography & Interventions

Society for Pediatric Research

Society for Public Health Education

The African American Wellness Project

The Center for Black Health & Equity

The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health

Trust for America’s Health

Truth Initiative

Union for Reform Judaism

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/123-leading-organizations-urge-president-biden-act-now-to-eliminate-menthol-cigarettes-302096113.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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