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June 21, 2022


PRESS CONTACT: Josh Brown, (312) 813-5276,

President Biden to mandate that cigarettes sold in the US have minimal or nonaddictive levels of nicotine 

White House action will save hundreds of thousands of Black lives

WASHINGTON, DC – June 21, 2022 – The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that it intends to issue a rule requiring tobacco companies to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes sold in our country to minimally or nonaddictive levels.

This move would make it possible for millions of Black Americans to more easily quit smoking saving hundreds of thousands of lives. 

“Reducing nicotine levels in cigarettes to minimally or non-addictive levels would be a landmark achievement to save Black lives,” proclaimed Carol McGruder, Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC). “Most Black smokers want to quit and this move will make it possible for millions to do so.”

This move will follow the action from the FDA to advance a rule to end the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.

"The general public needs to understand that it is important to remove menthol as an additive from all tobacco products in addition to lowering levels of nicotine. The tobacco industry's in-house studies show that as the nicotine levels are decreased while menthol levels are increased, tobacco products continue to hook smokers," explains Dr. Valerie Yerger, AATCLC Co-Founder and tobacco documents researcher. "The Biden Administration is giving our country the best chance to reduce our racial health disparity caused by smoking by both ending the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes and lowering nicotine levels."

We expect the tobacco industry to fight this proposed rule. AATCLC and our partners will work vigorously to defend this rule and ensure it goes into effect and can start saving lives at the earliest possible date. 

The AATCLC was formed to educate the public about the effects of tobacco on the Black American and African Immigrant populations, the tobacco industry’s predatory marketing tactics and the need to regulate menthol and all flavored tobacco product. To more effectively reach and save Black lives, the AATCLC partners with community stakeholders and public serving agencies to inform and direct tobacco control policies, practices, and priorities. 

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