In the News
- Menthol cigarettes still plague women’s health Compton Herald, 2018
- FDA takes first steps to limit flavorings in tobacco NBC, 2018
- A menthol cigarette ban may influence smokers to quit Reuters, 2018
- NJ Could Be First State To Ban Menthol Cigarettes CBS New York, 2018
- San Francisco moves to ban sales of vaping flavors, menthol cigarettes CNN, 2017
- Minneapolis City Council approves menthol tobacco restriction Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2017
- US Senators Call on FDA to Ban Sale of Menthol Cigarettes US News & World Report, 2017
- Oakland bans flavored tobacco products East Bay Times, 2017
- Time to Ban Menthol National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2014
Researchers at UCSF and beyond are concerned about the health effects of menthol and other flavored tobaccos.
Federal efforts to prohibit sales of menthol and flavored tobacco products
In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, banning all flavorings from cigarettes except menthol, but granting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to extend that ban to menthol. In 2011, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which was tasked with investigating the issue of menthol and advising the FDA on how to regulate it, concluded that the removal of menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit the public health.
On July 23, 2013, the FDA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to take public input on menthol in cigarettes. Specifically, the FDA requested information to inform its thinking about potential regulatory options. On March 20, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, issued a statement on efforts to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth, by exploring options to address the role of flavors - including menthol - in tobacco products.
UCSF Tobacco Research: FAQs
A closer look into research on menthol and flavored tobacco from Valerie Yerger, ND. Dr. Yerger is an Associate Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences and in the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education.
Studies conducted separately by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee found that the removal of menthol from the marketplace would benefit public health. The SF CAN Menthol Task Force, a partnership of UCSF researchers, the City of San Francisco, and community advocates, is working to educate San Franciscans about the health effects of flavored tobacco products.
Regulating these products makes good public health sense and would be a major step forward in the fight against cancer. Engaging those San Francisco communities most disproportionately affected by menthol and other flavored tobacco products is vital to the development and implementation of meaningful policy that is successfully sustained.
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- Flavored-little-cigar and flavored-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. 2014
- Tobacco industry control of menthol in cigarettes and targeting of adolescents and young adults. Am J Public Health. 2008
- Menthol's potential effects on nicotine dependence: A tobacco industry perspective. Tob Control. 2011
- Menthol sensory qualities and smoking topography: A review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2011
- Smoking cessation prevalence among U.S. smokers of menthol versus non-menthol cigarettes. Am J Prev Med. 2011
- Food and Drug Administration. Preliminary scientific evaluation of the possible public health effects of menthol versus nonmenthol cigarettes. Silver Springs, MD: Food and Drug Administration: July 23, 2013.
- Food and Drug Administration. Fact Sheet: Flavored Tobacco Products. 2011.
- Menthol Cigarette Smoking among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adults. Am J Prev Med. 2015.
- Racialized geography, corporate activity, and health disparities: Tobacco industry targeting of inner cities. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2007.
- Targeted advertising, promotion, and price for menthol cigarettes in California high school neighborhoods. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012.
- California Behavioral Risk Factor Surveilance System (BRFSS) 2012-2014 data; Age range: 18 years and older.
- California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program, California Student Tobacco Survey (CSTS) 2011-2012.
- Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among US Youth Aged 12-17 Years, 2013-2014. JAMA. 2015