Letters and Correspondences
Comments on Tobacco Product Standard for Menthol in Cigarettes
First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to the Food and Drug Administration to express our strong support of the proposed product standard prohibiting menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes, which will reduce youth smoking, save lives, and advance health equity.
Excerpt from the Comment:
Prohibiting menthol cigarettes will reduce youth smoking. In 2021, 34 percent of high school students and 11 percent of middle school students reported having used a tobacco product, with cigarettes being the second most popular. Menthol in cigarettes cools and numbs the throat, reduces the harshness of tobacco smoke, and makes cigarettes more appealing to new smokers, particularly young people. As is well-documented in the proposed rule, menthol facilitates experimentation, progression to regular smoking of menthol cigarettes, and contributes to greater nicotine dependence. Half of youth who have ever tried smoking started with menthol cigarettes and menthol cigarettes were responsible for 10.1 million additional new smokers between 1980 and 2018. In 2021, 41 percent of high school smokers reported using menthol cigarettes.