FDA Sued Over Menthol Cigarettes

FDA Sued Over Menthol Cigarettes
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The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Join Forces to Bring a Formal Complaint Against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

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WHAT: AATCLC And ASH File Lawsuit Against The FDA Over Menthol In Cigarettes

We are at a moment in time when action to eradicate systemic inequities and racism is crucial to fight injustices, which include those in the public health policy arena.

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The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) will formally announce their joint complaint against the FDA. The lawsuit will ask the court to compel the FDA to carry out its statutory duties under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and take steps to add menthol to the original list of prohibited characterizing flavors. Such action would result in the removal of menthol flavored tobacco products from the marketplace.

The lawsuit is intended to bring to the forefront the lack of action from the FDA to fulfill its mandate to promptly survey the medical and scientific evidence concerning the public health impacts of menthol in cigarettes, and take action on the FDA’s own conclusions that it would benefit the public health to take menthol tobacco products off the shelves.

In particular, in 2009, Congress passed—and President Obama signed into law—the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The act implemented a total flavor ban in cigarettes, but excluded menthol subject to further research on the public health impacts of menthol in cigarettes. In 2011, the FDA’s Advisory Committee concluded that the “Removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.” Though Canada, the European Union, Ethiopia and other countries have taken menthol off the market, the United States has yet to do so, despite overwhelming evidence collected by the FDA that a menthol ban would benefit public health.

Media Opportunities

One-on-one interviews with speakers available upon request:

  • Carol McCruder, founding member and co-chair of The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC)
  • Phillip Gardiner, founding member and co-chair of The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC)
  • Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy, Managing Attorney at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
  • Laurent Huber, Executive Director at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
  • Legal Questions - Christopher K. Leung, Pollock Cohen LLP


  • Carol McGruder, founding member and co-chair of AATCLC
  • Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy, Managing Attorney at ASH
  • Christopher K. Leung, Pollock Cohen LLP
  • LaTasha “SixFootah the Poet” Turner, personal testimony
  • Dr. Valerie Yerger, founding member of AATCLC and university professor
  • Laurent Huber, Executive Director at ASH
  • Dr. Phil Gardiner, founding member and co-chair of AATCLC


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

12:00 – 1:00 PM EST / 9:00 – 10:00 AM PDT

Note: Zoom link for press conference will be provided upon RSVP

About The African American Tobacco Leadership Council (AATCLC)

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 particular dangers of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. To more effectively reach and save Black lives, we also partner with community stakeholders and public serving agencies to inform and direct tobacco control policies, practices and priorities. https://www.savingblacklives.org/ 

About Action on Smoking & Health

ASH is America’s oldest anti-tobacco organization, dedicated to a world with ZERO tobacco deaths. Because tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, ASH supports bold solutions proportionate to the magnitude of the problem. ASH works both domestically and globally on initiatives that include pushing for legal liability for the tobacco industry, including criminal liability for tobacco executives; changing social norms to end the age of the cigarette, developing and distributing publications and research documents for tobacco control best practices, and demanding respect for basic human rights and protections against the tobacco industry and their products. https://ash.org/

About Pollock Cohen LLP

Pollock Cohen LLP focuses on representing plaintiffs and protecting the public interest through impact litigation. The firm also handles a broad range of complex commercial litigation, maintains an active pro bono practice, and is a leader in whistleblower actions.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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