In 2013, The Public Health Law Center filed a Citizen Petition to the FDA, requesting that the agency add menthol to the list of prohibited flavors in cigarettes. Menthol had been exempted from the product standard established in the Tobacco Control Act but the FDA was given the power to prohibit menthol. In the absence of prompt FDA action, the Public Health Law Center and its partners filed the Citizen Petition advocating for the exemption to be removed.
In June 2020, the African-American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and other groups filed a lawsuit arguing that the FDA had unreasonably delayed acting on the petition. In April 2021, the agency granted the petition and pledged to start the rulemaking process.
More information on all of the events surrounding FDA action on menthol can be found on our menthol timeline.
The FDA has issued two Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on menthol. One in 2013 and one in 2018.
On April 28, the FDA proposed a rule prohibiting menthol in cigarettes.