FDA Announces Plan to Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • May 3, 2021
On April 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would be advancing two tobacco product standards to significantly reduce disease and death from using combusted tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. 

FDA said that they are working to issue proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors (including menthol) in cigars. 

In the announcement, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. said, “Banning menthol—the last allowable flavor—in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products.”

A 2013 report released by the FDA linked flavored tobacco product usage to increased smoking initiation among youth and young adults. 

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD supports the FDA’s commitment to ban menthol in cigarettes and all flavors in cigars, as well as any efforts to reduce tobacco use in all populations, particularly the youth. Removing flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes from the market is another critical effort to reduce tobacco usage in vulnerable populations. The link between tobacco use and adverse oral health conditions is well-founded. Implementing policies that reduce smoking is a sound practice for improving oral and systemic health.