In an op-ed published today in the Boston Globe, a day in which FDA announced it’s intention to issue regulations to ban menthol cigarettes, PHAI’s executive director and president consider what the next steps in tobacco prevention should be.
Gottlieb and Daynard suggest that:
- The FDA should also remove menthol flavored e-cigarettes from the market. If these products, favored by youth, are on the market to help menthol smokers switch to e-cigarettes, this will not be necessary once menthol cigarettes are gone.
- Nicotine must be carefully regulated so that cigarettes are no longer addictive. The evidence is that very low nicotine cigarettes will help smokers to quit and will not result in them increasing smoking to compensate.
- The nicotine strength in American e-cigarettes is more than double the maximum allowed in Europe. There is no public health rationale for e-cigarettes to be this addictive and the FDA should regulate them accordingly.
- Finally, the end of the public health crisis caused by tobacco industry products will only come when we plan to phase out their sales entirely to establish a tobacco-free generation. Brookline, Massachusetts is the first community in the nation to approve this policy and is poised to prohibit sales of any tobacco products to anyone born on or before January 1, 2000. This slow phase-out is a reasonable and permanent way sunset these lethal and addictive products permanently. It should be widely adopted.