Title: What Reduced-nicotine Cigarettes, Menthol Cigarettes Ban Could Mean for Your People

Publication: April 29, 2021

Author: Stacey Younger Gagosian

Description: On April 29th, the FDA reported to the courts it’s intention to remove menthol from cigarettes and all flavors, including menthol, from cigars. The landmark decision has huge implications and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives, especially black lives. Adult menthol smokers show greater signs of nicotine dependence, with higher rates of relapse. Removing menthol from cigarettes can help alleviate the huge health inequality that has been caused by the tobacco industry’s aggressive targeting of black communities. Truth Initiative has been on a mission to expose industry tactics targeted to Black communities, through a “Black Lives/Black Lungs” documentary“Read Between the Lies,” and other campaigns. Moving ahead of the FDA’s ban on menthol cigarettes by offering easy to access, evidence-based cessation programs now can get the workforce ready for these policy changes.

The concept of reduced-nicotine cigarettes’ has been discussed by the Biden Administration, which would require tobacco companies to lower nicotine levels of all cigarettes sold in the United States to a point where they are no longer addictive. While reducing nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels could help user’s quit, tobacco users will still need support to overcome addiction. Additionally, nicotine itself doesn’t cause cancer, heart disease or lung disease. Rather, the chemicals contained in tobacco smoke are responsible for these long term health effects.

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