Daniella Matthews-Trigg Program Associate Making sure you know all the things!
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is issuing a 60 day Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek additional information (comments, data, research, etc.) from the public to help the agency make informed decisions about what, if any, regulatory action to take in regards to menthol in cigarettes. (Remember how Brazil banned flavored cigarettes including menthol? The FDA will be setting up a govt to govt conversation with Brazil!)
“Menthol cigarettes raise critical public health questions,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the public health issues raised by menthol cigarettes, and public input will help us make more informed decisions about how best to tackle this important issue moving forward.”
The FDA is also making available for public comment their preliminary independent scientific evaluation (whew!) of the health effects of menthol cigarettes looking at initiation, addiction, and cessation: Preliminary Scientific Evaluation of the Possible Public Health Effects of Menthol Versus Nonmenthol Cigarettes.
Additionally, the FDA is currently funding investigator initiated menthol-related studies looking at;
1. Whether genetic differences and taste perceptions could explain why certain racial and ethnic groups are more likely to use menthol tobacco products.
2. Compare exposure to carcinogens from menthol and nonmenthol cigarettes
3. Examining the effects on menthol and nonmenthol products on tobacco addiction
And, stay tuned for an upcoming, FDA-developed youth education campaign for roll-out at end of calendar year with an emphasis on menthol!
(Check out the FDA’s full press release HERE)
*Read more about the menthol debate on our blog:
Also, there is an article in the New York Times about this!