COLUMBUS, OHIO – Tonight, the Columbus City Council voted to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products, a public health initiative supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and other tobacco-free partners from the Coalition to End Tobacco Targeting.
“With kid-friendly flavors, this industry is targeting young people to lure them into a lifetime of addiction, a well-proven strategy of Big Tobacco,” said Leo Almeida, ACS CAN Ohio government relations director. “For decades, Big Tobacco has ruthlessly targeted our communities, using fruit and candy flavors like chocolate, cotton candy and minty sweet menthol to prey on youth to become the next generation of tobacco users. It’s clear: flavors hook kids.”
Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death. Nationwide, an estimated 480,000 people, including 20,200 Ohioans, die yearly from smoking. Flavored tobacco products are used intentionally by Big Tobacco to target young people, communities of color, particularly Black communities, LGBTQ and limited-income populations.
Flavored tobacco products pose a serious public health risk and contribute to recent youth tobacco use increases. ACS CAN thanks Columbus City Council for supporting this vital legislation and looks forward to working with other cities around Ohio to continue reining in Big Tobacco and the proliferation of flavored tobacco products by ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and all other flavored tobacco products.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.