Tobacco News and Updates: Summer 2024

Life-Saving Menthol Ban Faces Yet Another Delay

After several months, the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes has been pushed back once again. Despite clear scientific evidence of menthol’s harmful impacts, the regulation has paused to allow for more discussion and research. By postponing this long-awaited action, marginalized communities and youth will continue to be devastated by menthol.

While some civil rights voices have raised concerns around potential unintended consequences, prominent organizations such as the NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus view eliminating menthol as a step in the right direction.

Visual Cigarette Warnings: Coming Soon

A federal appeals court unanimously upheld the FDA’s rule requiring visual or graphic health warnings on cigarette packs and ads. This important decision is a big win for public health and gives the U.S. an opportunity to catch up — 138 countries worldwide already implement the effective warning labels — as the current text-only options have not been updated since 1984. Evidence shows visual images depicting health consequences, like cancer, heart disease and birth defects, are more effective, accessible and informative. Once in place, the new warnings must be randomly and equally displayed and distributed on cigarette packages and rotated in cigarette advertisements.

Secondhand Smoke Can Make Chemotherapy Less Effective

New groundbreaking research funded by the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) reveals exposure to secondhand smoke can make chemotherapy less effective. The study, led by Dr. Lurdes Queimado, found secondhand smoke causes cancer cells to shut down pathways and prevents chemotherapy drugs from entering, making the cells more resistant and potentially allowing the cancer to spread. Even after completing chemotherapy, secondhand smoke interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and medications long-term, meaning 100% clean indoor air is the safest option for everyone.

Have You Seen the Signs?

As of last year, major tobacco companies are now legally obligated to disclose the dangers of tobacco. Around 200,000 tobacco retailers are required to prominently post

corrective statements near cash registers until June 30, 2025. However, a recent report revealed a large discrepancy — around 16% of required retailers are not following the correct guidelines. Now, the American Heart Association is calling on the public to help make an impact. Here’s how you can make a difference and keep these retailers accountable.

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on May 16, 2024