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Statement by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on FDA Tobacco Actions on Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

Today the Food and Drug Administration announced the launch of proposed rule-making to remove menthol from cigarettes and flavor additives from cigars. This science-based decision reflects the Biden Administration’s commitment to improve the health of all Americans and to tackle health disparities in our most marginalized communities. Tobacco-related death and disease must become a part of America’s past. These public health measures will save lives.

Banning menthol in cigarettes and flavors in cigars will decrease the appeal of these tobacco products and strengthen health equity. Together, these actions represent powerful, science-based approaches that over time will help end the cycle of children becoming the next generation of smokers and eliminate long-perpetuated health disparities.

We also recognize it is critical to ensure that routine smokers who seek to quit have broad and equitable access to all of the tools and resources they may need to succeed. I will continue to work closely with agencies within the Department of Health and Human Service on this important issue.

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