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More than half of adult smokers in Maryland usually smoke menthol

In 2021, 53.5 percent of adult every day cigarette smokers in Maryland usually smoked menthol cigarettes. Menthol flavors in cigarettes make smoking easier to start, harder to quit, and are disproportionately marketed to and used by minority population groups.


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Menthol in E-Cigarettes

In February 2020, the FDA prohibited the sale of all flavored non-disposable e-cigarettes and Maryland banned the sale of all flavored cartridge-based and disposable e-cigarettes, other than menthol and tobacco flavor. Although e-cigarette sales have not reached pre-pandemic numbers, the menthol flavor has become the e-cigarette flavor of choice for purchasers.


Youth in Maryland

Between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years, the percent of high school students reporting usually using menthol, mint, or wintergreen flavors in their electronic smoking devices increased from 18.6 percent to 27.4 percent.


The FDAs Proposed Menthol Ban

The FDA’s proposed ban on menthol would prevent youth from ever beginning to smoke, aid

current menthol users to quit, including African Americans who have been so heavily impacted

by menthol, reduce the risk of tobacco-related diseases, and ultimately save countless lives in

the foreseeable future. According to the FDA, an estimated 324,000 to 654,000 smoking-attributable deaths overall, (including 92,000 to 238,000 among African Americans) would be avoided over the span of 40 years if menthol were no longer available. Enforcement of the proposed FDA ban would only affect retailers that sell the product, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and importers; the FDA would NOT enforce an individual’s use or possession of Menthol tobacco products.


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