With the swift rise in rates of e-cigarette use among high schoolers and other young people, it’s no surprise that public health officials and the media have honed in on reducing e-cigarette use.
While scrutiny of e-cigarette companies is well warranted, in a recent opinion piece published in STAT news, ChangeLab Solutions senior attorney Derek Carr and program director Pratima Musburger argue that public health officials should act now to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
Flavored products like menthol, little cigars, and cigarillos are significant drivers of unjust health disparities. Tobacco companies have systematically marketed these deadly products to communities of color, low-income families, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.
“We have an obligation to learn from our past as we plan our future,” Carr and Musburger suggest. “Policies that fail to tackle menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products risk further entrenching health inequities.”
ChangeLab Solutions was honored to partner on the City of Chicago’s first-in-the-nation ordinance restricting the sale of menthol cigarettes. We have also supported many leaders of the movement against menthol products, including the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council.
We are proud to have released the first model ordinance aimed at eliminating the sale of all flavored tobacco products — including menthol cigarettes — and to have worked with dozens of cities and counties across California as they developed policies to address this critical health equity and social justice issue.