The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday relaunched the “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign about the harms of menthol cigarettes. CDC credits the Tips campaign with helping 1 million people successfully quit smoking. Menthol in cigarettes can make them more addictive. Public health experts, including the CDC, say banning the sale of menthol cigarettes could save hundreds of thousands of lives, particularly among Black smokers. An estimated 85% of Black smokers use menthol cigarettes, according to federal statistics.

ONS Perspective

Preventing new cancer diagnoses through initiatives such as tobacco cessation is a pivotal part of ONS's advocacy approach. Not only does menthol cigarettes’ deliberate marketing to historically marginalized communities exacerbate health disparities, the flavor makes them easier to smoke, which is more appealing and addictive to younger individuals. According to the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), youth tobacco usage rates are declining, but children who do use tobacco are consuming it in greater quantities.

In collaboration with other patient and public health organizations, ONS is urging the Biden-Harris administration to empower FDA with more authority to regulate tobacco flavorings such as menthol. You can help ONS advocate for tobacco cessation and other priority issues by applying for the 8th Annual Capitol Hill Day: An Alumni Experience.

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