U.S. FDA proposes ban on menthol cigarettes, faces robust battle By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Newport and Camel cigarettes are stacked on a shelf inside a tobacco retailer in New York

(Reuters) -The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the US, a win for anti-tobacco and civil rights teams, however a transfer that might erase an enormous chunk of gross sales for cigarette producers.

The FDA was compelled to behave by an April 29 court docket deadline to reply to a citizen’s petition from 2013 searching for a ban on menthol cigarettes that activists say affect Black People proportionately increased from the business’s advertising.

Altria Group (NYSE:) Inc and Reynolds America, a unit of British American Tobacco (NYSE:) Plc, stated they’d consider the newest proposal, however said that the printed science on the matter doesn’t assist regulating or banning menthol cigarettes.

Shares of Altria, British America Tobacco and Imperial Manufacturers (OTC:) Plc have been down about 1%.

Imperial’s U.S. enterprise, ITG Manufacturers, stated the announcement was disappointing, however not sudden.

“We’re hopeful that FDA will observe the legislation and prioritize sound coverage and science over political stress,” stated ITG, which homes the Winston and Kool cigarette manufacturers.

In response to a Bernstein analysis estimate, British American Tobacco generates 55% of its cigarette volumes in the US from menthols, led by its Newport model, in contrast with 30% for Imperial Manufacturers and 17% for Altria Group.

The FDA stated it was working towards issuing proposed product requirements inside the subsequent yr in its transfer to ban menthol as a taste in cigarettes and ban all flavors in cigars.

For many years, anti-smoking teams sounded the alarm on mentholated cigarettes, arguing they contribute to disproportionate well being burdens on Black communities and play a task in luring younger individuals into smoking.

“Banning menthol – the final allowable taste – in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will assist save lives, notably amongst these disproportionately affected by these lethal merchandise,” Performing FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock stated in an announcement. (https://

The ban, nevertheless, is more likely to take years to implement with looming authorized challenges from the tobacco business, which has repeatedly battled the FDA to attempt to block anti-tobacco regulation.

Menthol cigarettes, banned in lots of U.S. states together with California and Massachusetts, account for greater than a 3rd of the business’s general market share at the same time as smoking charges have declined in the US for a few years.

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