FDA announces proposed ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes Advocates say it's a step in the right direction.



The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and all flavors in cigars, a move that could further drive down smoking rates in the U.S.

The FDA will solicit comments from the public before finalizing the rule, a process that could take years. But advocates say it's a step in the right direction, pointing to one research model that estimated banning these flavors could lead to a 15% decline in tobacco use by 2026.

Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the U.S., menthol cigarettes represent over a third of cigarette sales, with almost 19 million users. Black Americans have disproportionately high rates of menthol smoking, a consequence of years of racially targeted advertising.