Internet Explorer Alert

It appears you are using Internet Explorer as your web browser. Please note, Internet Explorer is no longer up-to-date and can cause problems in how this website functions
This site functions best using the latest versions of any of the following browsers: Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari.
You can find the latest versions of these browsers at

For Release:


Media Contact:

Devin Mazziotti

By: Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

"Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took an important step forward with its decision to prohibit menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. This long overdue decision will protect future generations of young people from nicotine addiction, especially Black children and communities, which have disproportionately suffered from menthol tobacco use due to targeted efforts from the tobacco industry. The FDA must now immediately move forward with its plan to eliminate menthol and other flavored tobacco products once and for all.

"Pediatricians have long been sounding the alarm on how the tobacco industry has used flavors to hook children and teens to their dangerous, addictive products – menthol, with its cooling mint flavor, is no different. In fact, we call tobacco use a 'pediatric disease' because it almost always begins in adolescence.

"For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted Black communities with aggressive marketing tactics to promote menthol products, further reinforcing existing health disparities. Today, tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death among Black Americans, claiming 45,000 Black lives every year. Among Black 12- to 17-year-olds who had ever used a tobacco product, nearly 72% smoked menthol cigarettes. It is clear the tobacco industry's long-standing efforts can be measured in Black lives lost.

"Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars is a common-sense step forward to break the deadly cycle of tobacco use and protect children from using these harmful products in the first place. While the American Academy of Pediatrics commends the FDA's announcement, it is only a first step that must be followed with urgent, comprehensive action to remove these flavored products from the market."


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

Feedback Form