A coalition of 21 state attorneys general submitted a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget urging the Biden administration to complete a review and quickly implement the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
"The FDA's proposed rule, supported by ample evidence, is long overdue," California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a press release. "In today's letter, the coalition places special emphasis on calling for civil rights and public health organizations to take action to remove menthol tobacco products from the market to protect public health and address the systemic and disproportionate impact of these products on minority communities and other vulnerable populations, including young people. "
Bonta said tobacco companies intentionally target specific communities across the country, especially communities of color, which results in serious health disparities and inequities.
“The time for action is now, and I urge the Biden administration to finally end the sale of these flavored tobacco products, which will lay the foundation for reversing decades of disparities in tobacco use and save lives.”
In the letter, the multi-state coalition urged the Biden administration to immediately complete its review of the FDA's proposed rule.
The letter reads: “As the chief legal officer for states and territories, the Attorney General responds to unfounded claims that the proposed menthol ban will increase illegal trade or make individuals purchase, possess or use menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars "Criminalization." The coalition believes the FDA's proposed rule is a critical step in promoting health equity and protecting public health. Additionally, banning menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars would bring the United States one step closer to achieving a “cancer moonshot,” President Biden’s historic push to “end cancer as we know it.”
Bonta is a state in Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Attorneys General for Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota and the District of Columbia.