Anti-Blackness and racism in America are a public health crisis that requires sweeping policy and systems change. We join the protesters here in Minnesota and across the world in calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark and the many other Black people who have been murdered by law enforcement and others acting under the cloak of white supremacy in the United States.
On June 28, 2021, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced the state’s settlement of its lawsuit against Juul Labs over the company’s marketing to youth. The settlement is the first of many that may be reached as a result of several lawsuits against Juul filed by state attorneys general on a variety of claims.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (“TCA”) requires any new tobacco product to receive permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it can be sold This is a process known as premarket review. In passing the TCA, Congress intended to strengthen FDA’s role as a gatekeeper, preventing harmful new products from ever entering the market.
In June of 2020, two leading public health organizations sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its inaction on removing menthol from cigarettes.
On March 18, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services announced via public inspection a one-year delay of the rule’s effective date to March 22, 2022 in order to review the rule in light of pending litigation and stated the following: “The SUNSET final rule was scheduled to take effect on March 22, 2021. On March 9, 2021, a lawsuit was filed seeking to overturn the SUNSET final rule.
On August 28, 2020, California became the second state in the nation, after Massachusetts, to pass a broad law prohibiting the sale of most flavored tobacco products. This follows the action of over 270 localities in nine states across the U.S. that have enacted flavored tobacco bans.
For public health advocates, the problem of commercial tobacco product waste may pale in comparison with the huge toll of sickness and death caused by tobacco use. By ignoring it, however, we are missing an opportunity to combine the evidence of both the human and the environmental devastation caused by tobacco to make an even stronger case for achieving the tobacco “endgame”—ending the sale and use of commercial tobacco products altogether.
Here at the Public Health Law Center, we have long advocated for accelerating the so-called “end game” to phase out the sale of cigarettes and other combustible commercial tobacco products. But today, like so many others, we find ourselves re-examining our agenda, wondering where yesterday’s priorities fit in today’s crazy times, when we are not only consumed by the coronavirus, but also awakening more fully to the underlying crisis of racism that infects every institution of our society.
The Public Health Law Center emphatically supports the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) as they sue the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its failure to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes. Read their announcement here.