By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News)
The US Food and Drug Administration on Thursday launched proposed guidelines — first introduced a 12 months in the past — to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
“The proposed guidelines would assist stop kids from turning into the subsequent technology of people who smoke and assist grownup people who smoke stop,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra mentioned in an FDA information launch,
FDA Commissioner Robert Califf mentioned the proposed bans Thursday whereas showing earlier than a congressional subcommittee, the Washington Post reported.
Califf instructed the panel that the proposed bans would “reduce the mortality risk of current smokers of menthol cigarettes or flavored cigars by substantially decreasing their consumption and increasing the likelihood of cessation,” the Post reported.
Califf’s remarks got here practically a 12 months to the day after his predecessor, performing FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, introduced the identical proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored small cigars.
The ban would “address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” Woodcock mentioned on the time.
“Flavored tobacco, together with flavors present in some cigars and cigarillos, makes smoking extra interesting by decreasing preliminary aversive responses, notably for younger folks,” Woodcock defined.
Menthol cigarettes have been marketed aggressively to Black Americans for many years. About 85% of Black people who smoke use menthol manufacturers in contrast with 30% of white people who smoke, the FDA mentionedand analysis exhibits menthol cigarettes are tougher to stop than conventional tobacco merchandise.
Anti-smoking and civil rights advocates utilized the proposed ban.
“This is a giant step forward” in decreasing well being disparities attributable to smokingCarol McGruder, co-chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, instructed the Post,
In 2019, there have been over 18.5 million menthol cigarette people who smoke aged 12 and older within the United States, with notably excessive charges of use by younger folks, Black folks and different minorities, the FDA mentioned. Modeling research have estimated a 15% discount in smoking inside 40 years if menthol cigarettes are now not obtainable, the company mentioned, and those self same research estimate that 324,000 to 654,000 smoking-related deaths general (92,000 to 238,000 amongst Black Americans) could be averted over the course of 40 years.
Experts agreed that the general public well being impression of following by way of on the proposed ban may very well be monumental. Black males have the best charges of lung most cancers in America, largely on account of smokingin accordance with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
“FDA’s actions today send a clear message that Big Tobacco’s strategy to profit off addicting Black Americans will no longer be tolerated,” Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, mentioned in an announcement. “Currently, lung cancer death rates in Black males are 15% higher than those of white males in the US If we’re going to address these very real health disparities, we must take strong action to end the industry’s targeting of Black communities.”
Dr. Raja Flores is chair of thoracic surgical procedure at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. He mentioned, “It’s a crime that this has gone on for so long — that they’ve focused on the most vulnerable population, like the African American community…. We see the disparities and the results in Black patients because of menthol cigarettes . They don’t do as well as white patients with lung cancer, It’s about time that we do something to stop this.”
Geoffrey Fong, principal investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, mentioned as many as 1.3 million folks may stop smoking and probably lots of of hundreds of untimely deaths may very well be averted if the United States’ expertise mirrors that of Canada after it banned menthol cigarettes,
“This is potentially an extraordinary, landmark intervention to reduce the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease,” Fong instructed The New York Times,
American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer mentioned the proposed ban may “be the single most significant action taken by FDA in its almost 13-year history of regulating tobacco products.”
“Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death among Black Americans, claiming 45,000 Black lives every year,” Wimmer mentioned in an announcement. “Black males have the best charges of lung cancer in the US, and Black middle and high school students smoke flavored cigars at rates higher than cigarettes. These statistics did not happen by accident. They are the results of decades of marketing directed at Black communities by the tobacco industry. Halting the sale of these flavored tobacco products lays the groundwork for reversing decades of disparities in tobacco use, disease and death in Black and brown communities.”
However, anti-smoking advocates predicted that the efficient dates of the bans stay no less than two years away.
“The FDA has a duty to protect public health with nothing short of ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products,” the American Heart Association mentioned in an announcement. “The American Heart Association and our nationwide network of advocates will work relentlessly with FDA to ensure the final rules are as strong and comprehensive as possible. We urge the agency to quickly issue final rules and remove these harmful products from the market.”
Public touch upon the proposed guidelines begins May 4, and the FDA may also maintain public hearings on June 13 and June 15.
The US Food and Drug Administration has extra about menthol and flavored tobacco merchandise,
SOURCES: US Food and Drug Administration, information launch, April 28, 2022; Raja Flores, MD, chair of thoracic surgical procedure, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City; American Heart Association, assertion, April 28, 2022; American Lung Association, assertion, April 28, 2022; American Cancer Society, assertion, April 28, 2022; Washington Post; The New York Times
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