SALEM, OR -- The FDA appears poised to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. Oregon Deputy State Health Officer Dr. Tom Jeanne supports the move, saying flavors are generally used to attract new, young smokers. "We know that here in Oregon three out of four youth and young adults who use tobacco use a flavored product," says Dr. Jeanne, "So removing menthol from cigarettes, and some of these flavors like strawberry, grape and fruit punch from flavored cigars, will have a big impact, we think."
Despite the statistics, he expects significant pushback from the tobacco industry, as has occurred in the past, "I think that underscores the importance of local action and statewide action. We do have communities that are leading the way in passing flavor restrictions, and we know that a growing number of jurisdictions nationally have passed restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including five states. In Oregon, a Washington County flavored tobacco ban was put on hold after lobbyists successfully pushed the issue to the May ballot.
If you need help to stop smoking visit Smoke Free Oregon's website or call 800-QUIT-NOW.