Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society supports federal ban on sale of flavored tobacco products

Massachusetts Medical Society supports federal ban on sale of flavored tobacco products

The physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society strongly support the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed nationwide banning of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The MMS took a similar stance, rooted in organizational policy, in urging Massachusetts legislators and regulators to establish the existing statewide ban on the sale or distribution of any flavored tobacco products in the Commonwealth.

We know that all tobacco products hurt and kill our patients and that tobacco companies were and are intentional in marketing and selling menthol and flavored products for the purpose of creating generations of consumers who become addicted to their lethal products. A particularly egregious tactic is the historical and continued targeting of and harming of underserved populations, which severely undermines the ongoing and collaborative efforts to close gaps in health equity. We appreciate that the FDA proposal would penalize manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers, and not individuals.

Removing life-threatening products from the market decreases the likelihood that children experiment with tobacco and form a habit that could inevitably lead to serious health consequences and premature death, while increasing the likelihood that current users will seek evidence-based and effective cessation.

This ban is long overdue and will without question save hundreds of thousands of lives.

-Theodore A. Calianos, II, MD, FACS, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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