Lawsuit Against FDA Over Delayed Menthol Cigarette Ban

Carmen Rodriguez-Gutiérrez
1 min read

Three public health groups have filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, citing the agency's failure to enforce a ban on menthol cigarettes, despite the Biden administration's ongoing efforts. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, Action on Smoking and Health, and the National Medical Association argue that the delay has allowed tobacco companies to target youth, women, and the Black community, negatively impacting public health. The FDA missed the March deadline for the proposed ban, further emphasizing the issue. Reports estimate that up to 650,000 smoking-related deaths could be prevented by 2050 if the ban is implemented. Notably, menthol cigarettes have disproportionately affected Black communities, contributing to high death rates and health disparities. Moreover, the FDA's failure to act addresses the estimated 10.1 million Americans who began smoking due to menthol cigarettes between 1980 and 2018. The groups argue that the delay has perpetuated the harm caused by menthol products, particularly among vulnerable communities. Evidently, approximately 85% of Black smokers use menthol cigarettes, compared to 30% of white smokers. The lawsuit highlights the urgent need for regulatory action to address the societal and health impacts of menthol cigarettes. This case raises public health concerns and underscores the intersection of policy, public health, and social justice. The new lawsuit signifies a significant development in the ongoing efforts to address the harm caused by menthol cigarettes and the urgency of public health measures. The FDA's delay has elicited strong advocacy and legal action, reflecting a critical moment for addressing systemic health disparities and protecting public well-being.

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