More than half of adults in the United States agree with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products in the country.
A study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease on Thursday showed that majority of U.S. adults support policies prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes and other tobacco products.
For the study, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 6,455 adults in 2021 to assess their support for commercial tobacco retail policies in the country.
After analyzing the data, the team found that more than half, or 62.3% of the respondents, supported banning menthol cigarettes. Meanwhile, 57.3% supported the banning of tobacco products.
The researchers noted that their findings could help inform federal, state and local efforts to prohibit the sale of tobacco products, reduce tobacco use and advance health equity.
The survey was conducted before the FDA proposed a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in April last year, according to CNN.
Cigarette smoking has declined in recent years. But the latest figures still attribute it as the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the U.S., accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year.
The CDC recorded that in 2020, about 13 in 100 adults aged 18 and above smoked. This translated to 30.8 million adult smokers in the country. At the same time, 16 million Americans were diagnosed with a smoking-related disease.
In its proposal, the FDA announced that it wanted to prohibit menthol as a “characterizing flavor” in cigarettes and other flavors in tobacco products to prevent children from trying cigars and cigarettes.
“The proposed rules would help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement published alongside the proposal’s announcement.
“Additionally, the proposed rules represent an important step to advance health equity by significantly reducing tobacco-related health disparities.”
The new study highlighted how most adults also want to have a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes and tobacco products.
“Our findings are generally consistent with previous research showing support for menthol cigarette sales prohibitions, including among population groups historically targeted by unjust marketing practices and with a high prevalence of menthol cigarette use (eg, non-Hispanic Black adults),” the CDC researchers wrote.