Today the FDA announced its long-awaited public health protections. It includes a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and set restrictions on e-cigarettes sales, including kid-friendly flavors. The decision on menthol cigarettes is decades in the making and is a significant step in ending the tobacco industry’s decades of tailored predatory marketing toward low-income, inner-city and predominantly Black communities. But, the industry was involved at the policymaking table and, likely as a result, the FDA’s plan doesn’t go nearly far enough to reduce the e-cig epidemic taking teens by storm.
Please see below for Corporate Accountability Associate Director Michél Legendre’s statement:
“The FDA’s new public health protections take much-needed and long-awaited steps that will protect communities, especially communities of color, from the tailored and predatory tobacco marketing tactics. But, these protections aren’t going to get the job done.
Over the past few months, the FDA has rolled out the red carpet for the industry, given it gold stars for superficial changes, and commended its commitment to curbing kids’ smoking. But Big Tobacco and those like Juul, which pull straight from its playbook, have made a business off of addicting children to creating customers for life. It’s naive — and dangerous — to believe that this deadly industry is sincere in any efforts to stop its bread-and-butter practice: kid-targeted marketing.
If the FDA and Commissioner Gottlieb really want to reverse the tobacco and nicotine epidemic, it’s high time for them to kick the industry out of the room and write protections that center people’s input, not corporate interests.”