ACS CAN Statement on the Decision by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council to Advance Intro 1362 (flavored electronic cigarettes) and not Intro 1345 (menthol cigarettes)
New York, NY — The American Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) Managing Director of Government Relations Bill Sherman released the following statement on the 44th annual American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. The event was started as a day to encourage people who smoke to quit or make a plan to quit. The statement is in response to the decision by New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council to advance Intro 1362 (flavored electronic cigarettes) and not Intro 1345 (menthol cigarettes)
“On this American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout it is crucial to point out that choosing to restrict flavored electronic cigarettes while ignoring the enormous damage done by menthol cigarettes is shameful and reinforces the deadly impact that Big Tobacco’s immoral targeting of racial minorities and low-income New Yorkers has had in New York City.
“While we appreciate the Council’s attention on the e-cigarette crisis, the decision by Speaker Johnson and the New York City Council to advance Intro 1362 (flavored electronic cigarettes) and not Intro 1345 (menthol cigarettes) will result in countless New Yorkers continuing to be hooked on menthol cigarettes and thousands of lives being lost unnecessarily. It is important to point this out especially on this day, when people commit to quit smoking and also the day after the Massachusetts State Senate joined the state’s House in passing legislation that prohibits the sale of all flavors, including mint and menthol.
“While smoking rates are now at historic lows, smoking still accounts for about 30% of all cancer deaths. This includes about 80% of the nearly 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually in New York City. One major factor that has contributed to the continued use of tobacco and the explosive growth in electronic cigarette use is the attractive flavors that these products come in.
“Failing to move forward with Intro 1345, despite everything that we know, will have negative consequences for generations to come and is an example of what happens when policymakers put politics ahead of the public good.
“There is still time for Speaker Johnson and the City Council to restrict all flavored tobacco products and pass both Intro 1362 and Intro 1345. We encourage them to do so as soon as possible.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.