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ACS CAN urges FDA to finalize rules eliminating menthol and flavored cigars

April 28 marks one-year anniversary of proposed rules.

Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its proposed rules to eliminate menthol cigarettes and eliminate all flavors in cigars. Now, nearly one year later, the rules are still not final. This inaction has allowed Big Tobacco to continue targeting these products to the Black community, who consistently reports the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use. 

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of FDA’s proposed rules, Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released a statement urging the FDA to take immediate action in ending the sale of flavored tobacco products. 

“One year ago, FDA took a crucial step forward to address the harmful impacts of tobacco by releasing its proposed rules to eliminate menthol flavoring in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars,” Lacasse said. “Finalizing these rules would help combat health disparities and could save as many as 654,000 lives, including the lives of more than 238,000 African Americans, over the next 40 years, according to modeling studies.”

Lacasse noted how the tobacco industry deliberately and aggressively aims to addict Black communities, as well as LGBTQ+ and limited income communities, with menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars through targeted advertising in magazines, events, and neighborhoods. As a result of these deliberate and predatory practices, she added that menthol has been used at a higher rate by Black people in the United States, leading to disproportionately worse health outcomes, including the highest death rate and shortest survival rate for most cancers.

For over a decade, ACS CAN has been urging FDA to use their statutory authority to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars as part of an ongoing call for a total flavor prohibition in all tobacco products, while advocating for increased funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.  

“There is no scientific rationale for permitting any flavored tobacco product to remain on the market, Lacasse said. “FDA must not stall any longer. We urge FDA to swiftly finalize the rules and act immediately to eliminate harmful flavors in cigarettes and cigars.”

To learn more about ACS CAN’s advocacy work on this issue, visit the Menthol and Flavored Cigars page on

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