Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.

In April 2022, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a significant announcement that garnered considerable attention – a plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The agency set an initial deadline of August 2023 to work out the details of this ban, which aimed to address a long-standing issue in public health. However, it appears that the FDA is now behind schedule, leaving many to wonder when this critical ban will finally be implemented.

Source: Wall Street Journal/YouTube

The regulation of menthol in tobacco products has been on the FDA’s radar for over a decade, and the need for action is undeniable. Menthol has been linked to increased addiction and is known to attract new, often young, smokers due to its flavor-masking properties. Studies have indicated that more than half of children who smoke choose menthol cigarettes, highlighting the gravity of the issue.

Moreover, the tobacco industry has historically targeted minority communities, including Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ individuals, with menthol marketing. This has not only contributed to health disparities but has also exacerbated systemic racism and health inequality issues.

The delay in implementing the menthol ban is not only disappointing but also perpetuates health disparities. Black people have disproportionately higher rates of smoking-related illnesses, and menthol cigarettes play a significant role in this alarming trend. Eliminating menthol cigarettes could significantly reduce these disparities, particularly in lung cancer deaths.

Furthermore, flavored cigars and cigarillos, which come in enticing flavors like chocolate, honey, and grape, have been gaining popularity among young people, especially in minority communities. Regulating flavored cigars is an important aspect of the FDA’s plan, as it can help prevent young smokers from getting hooked on these harmful products.

While two states, Massachusetts and California, have taken proactive steps by banning flavored tobacco products, a nationwide ban is still pending. Tobacco companies are expected to challenge such a ban through legal means, as they have done with previous restrictions. Despite these challenges, public health leaders and organizations are urging the FDA to expedite the process.

The FDA’s commitment to banning menthol tobacco products is a crucial step toward reducing smoking-related illnesses, health disparities, and systemic racism. The delay in finalizing the ban is concerning, but the potential benefits are substantial. By acting swiftly, the FDA has the opportunity to save lives and protect the health of vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately affected by menthol marketing and the allure of flavored tobacco products. It is now a matter of when, not if, this ban will be implemented, and the health and well-being of millions depend on the agency’s prompt action.

Sign this petition to ask cigarette companies to at least switch to biodegradable filters.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade repeatedly.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and essential stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!