“More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking” reports the CDC. The use of tobacco products has become an epidemic in our nation. But what makes it so enticing? Some may point to peer pressure and others as a coping mechanism for a multitude of challenging years; however, when you dig a little deeper it all boils down to one thing. Nicotine.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical found in all tobacco products including cigarettes, vapes, and cigars. The Mayo Clinic explains, “Nicotine reaches the brain within seconds of taking a puff. In the brain, nicotine increases the release of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and behavior”.
Now more than ever, the tobacco industry has pulled youth and young adults under the grip of nicotine addiction by using a variety of promotional tactics like the use of flavors. Strawberry, grape, cocoa, and fruit punch attract younger audiences by hiding the danger beneath. Additionally, a chemical called menthol has been often used by the tobacco industry to reduce the harshness of cigarette smoking. All of these tactics make it more appealing for new users to continue experimenting with different products, ultimately leading them down the path of routine use. The CDC notes that use of these products has the ability to harm nearly every organ in the body.
That could all change with your help. The FDA is now proposing a ban on Menthol cigarettes and all flavors in cigars. These new tobacco product standards would significantly reduce disease and death from combusted tobacco product use for Americans. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to breathe well.
According to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, M.D.: “The authority to adopt tobacco product standards is one of the most powerful tools Congress gave the FDA and the actions we are proposing can help significantly reduce youth initiation and increase the chances that current smokers quit. It is clear that these efforts will help save lives.
“Through the rulemaking process, there’s an important opportunity for the public to make their voices heard and help shape the FDA’s ongoing efforts to improve public health,” he said.
Don’t let the ones you love become another statistic. The FDA has an open comment period until July 5th, 2022. I urge you to support this proposed ban on Menthol and flavored tobacco products. Creating a thriving community happens when we work together. Share your voice now at: https://www.regulations.gov/.
Live Well Kosciusko