Chicago Board of Health to Tackle Flavored Tobacco, Menthol Policy

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

During the month of September, the Chicago Board of Health has scheduled four Town Hall meetings to obtain public input on the effects of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, on the public health. The purpose of the Town Hall meetings will be to gather information on flavored tobacco products and then draft policy recommendations to be submitted to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council Committee on Health and Environmental Protection.

The Chicago Board of Health has released the accompanying “Resolution on Menthol-Flavored Cigarettes” which includes a number of “Whereas” clauses that focus on the use of flavored tobacco products, including menthol flavored cigarettes. Specifically, the resolution states that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is “immediately calling on the Chicago Board of Health to help explore local policy options for curbing their use, especially among kids”.

The resolution was issued by the Chicago Board of Health in response to the recent FDA announcement requesting more public input on the use and impact of menthol in cigarettes. The resolution references the recent FDA request for additional input on menthol in cigarettes and also points out that the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act provides local and state governments the ability to adopt stricter regulations on the sale and distribution of tobacco products than the current federal regulations.

As noted in the resolution, the Town Hall meetings are scheduled from 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 5at Chicago State University, on Tuesday, September 10 at the General Robert E. Wood Boys and Girls Club, on Tuesday, September 17 at the Center on Halsted, and on Thursday, September 19 at the Austin Town Hall Park.