The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking comments about regulating menthol in tobacco. Here is our comment:
The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health. Therefore, the FDA has a moral obligation to protect the public from mentholated tobacco, especially children and ethnic minorities. It is NOT the responsibility of the FDA to save jobs, as the tobacco industry would have us believe!
Mentholated tobacco is attractive to youth. The soothing sensation on the throat makes it easier for youth to smoke and the direct targeting of ethnic minorities ensures a robust market place. Of youth 12-17 years who smoke, 79% of African American, 51% of Asian American and Hispanic, and 37% of White school-aged smokers use menthol cigarettes. An alarming 82.6% of African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes, 53.2% of Pacific Islanders, 32.3% of Latinos, 32.2% of Asians, 24.8% of American Indians/Alaska Natives, and 23.8% of Caucasians. Menthol cigarettes are popular and deadly.
Menthol has been shown by scientists to increase nicotine dependence and makes it more difficult to quit using tobacco.
We urge the FDA to keep the focus on Saving Lives, Over Saving Jobs.
If you want to comment and urge the FDA to take action, click here!