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Oregon Health Authority applauds ‘momentous’ FDA move to ban menthol cigarettes

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Health Authority issued the following statement Friday in response to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Thursday decision on menthol cigarettes and flavored little cigars.

Oregon Health Authority applauds the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (F.D.A.) decision to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored little cigars. This is a momentous step toward preventing tobacco addiction and death, particularly for communities of color and young people.

OHA Public Health Director Rachael Banks says: “To achieve health equity, we must consider the role of commercial tobacco, particularly the role of menthol and other flavored tobacco products, which have intentionally been pushed on African Americans and communities of color.”

For decades, the tobacco industry has placed menthol marketing and discounts in African American communities and appropriated African American culture in advertising. Menthol cigarettes are easier to start smoking, and harder to quit, than non-flavored cigarettes. In Oregon, 25% of African Americans smoke compared to 18% of whites.

Today’s FDA. announcement, which covers both menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, was the result of litigation brought by the African American Tobacco Leadership Council, Action on Smoking and Health, and the American Medical Association. OHA and local partners throughout Oregon have repeatedly urged the FDA to ban all flavored tobacco products. We are grateful for the leadership of the lead plaintiff organizations and the many other advocates and communities of color who worked for this moment.

OHA recognizes that our work is ongoing during the F.D.A. rule-making process and will continue to submit comments and evidence that support strong, evidence-based policy. Action on tobacco at the state and local levels will continue to be critical to eliminate tobacco-caused health inequities and protect youth from addiction.

Saving lives also means helping people addicted to nicotine to quit – and we are committed to providing free help to anyone in Oregon. It’s no secret that times are hard, but you don’t have to quit alone. For free help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit

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  1. WT%!? no more menthol because of “of color” communities? what the heck is going on here!?.
    I am (I guess) of NO color and love them once in a while.
    How about flavored energy drinks? or specialty coffee “pushed” upon upper middle classes? when will this madness STOP?
    Welcome to America the great,but cant have menthol smokes…

  2. Thank heavens an old white man who has been part of systemic racism for 50 years and had a KKK exalted cyclops as t a political mentor is president who can make sure those black people who enjoy menthol cigarettes can’t have them. What would “people of color” do without racist old white liberal leading them? After all, if they don’t support him, they ain’t, well, you know the rest.

    Imagine if it were a republican banning menthols.

  3. Is this stupidity really all that Biden has to do with his time ?
    If menthol smokes are supposedly marketed towards blacks, this seems a little
    discriminatory against a group of people that already claim that they are
    continually discriminated against… What an idiot.

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