Twenty-Four States Back Menthol-Cigarette Ban

Attorneys general submit letter as part of FDA comment period

Twenty-Four States Back Menthol Cigarette Ban

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The state attorneys general in 24 states submitted a letter dated Nov. 8, 2013, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, according to a National Association of Tobacco Outlets report.

These attorneys general represent the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

In the letter, the attorneys general claim that “there are numerous law enforcement tools that can be used to combat production or importation of unlawful tobacco products. Moreover, the quantity of menthol cigarettes that could be made available on the black market would be far less than the quantity that will be available if menthol remains legal. Therefore, a ban on menthol would dramatically decrease public access to menthol cigarettes.”

“This kind of letter from the attorneys general with the claims made about menthol cigarettes are a key reason why members of the tobacco industry, including retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, need to submit comments to the FDA,” said NATO executive director Tom Briant.

The time period for the public to submit comments on menthol cigarettes ends on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.