Bipartisan Group of Attorneys General Urge Menthol Cigarette Ban

  • A bipartisan group of 23 AGs, led by Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden and Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) urging it to finalize rules that would ban menthol cigarettes.
  • The letter argues that overwhelming scientific evidence points to the urgency of prohibiting menthol cigarettes to protect public health because menthol smoking has remained constant even as non-menthol smoking has consistently declined in recent years. The letter notes that menthol increases youth smoking, disproportionately affects minorities and other vulnerable populations, and that menthol smokers are less likely to successfully quit smoking than non-menthol smokers.
  • The letter also rebuts arguments that such a ban would increase illicit trade by noting that there are “robust measures for monitoring and enforcement already in place” and that state AGs have decades of experience and expertise in enforcing FDA restrictions and bans on tobacco products.