Menthol Cigarettes Restrictions in Clark County Nevada: A Comprehensive Guide

The .gov domain is a sure sign that it's official: federal government websites usually end up in .gov or .mil. Before sharing any sensitive information, it's important to make sure you're on a federal government site. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced proposed product standards to prohibit menthol as a characteristic flavor in cigarettes and all other characteristic flavors (except tobacco) in cigars. These actions have the potential to drastically reduce illnesses and deaths caused by the consumption of burnt tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

Menthol is a flavoring additive with a minty flavor and aroma that reduces the irritation and harshness of smoking. This makes menthol cigarettes more attractive and easier to use, especially for young people and young adults. Menthol also interacts with nicotine in the brain to increase the addictive effects of nicotine. The combination of menthol flavor, sensory effects, and interaction with nicotine in the brain increases the likelihood that young people who start smoking menthol cigarettes will become regular smokers.

Menthol also makes it harder for people to quit smoking. The product standard for flavored cigarettes would reduce the risk for young people. Characterizing the flavors of cigars, such as strawberry, grape, cocoa, and fruit punch, increases their appeal and facilitates their use, especially among young people and young adults. More than half a million young people in the United States use flavored cigars and, in recent years, more young people tried a cigar every day than they tried a cigarette. It is important to note that the FDA cannot and will not enforce the law against individual consumers for possession or use of menthol or pure flavored cigarettes. If these proposed rules are finalized and implemented, FDA enforcement will only target manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, importers, and retailers who manufacture, distribute, or sell such products in the United States that do not meet the applicable requirements.

These proposed regulations do not include the prohibition of individual possession or use by the consumer. State and local law enforcement agencies do not independently enforce the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and do not and cannot take enforcement action against any violation of the FDA's tobacco authorities, including their regulations, on behalf of the FDA. However, the agency recognizes concerns related to how state and local law enforcement agencies can enforce their own laws in a way that may affect community fairness and safety, particularly for underserved and underrepresented communities. The FDA requests comments on how best to make clear the respective functions of the agency and state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as political considerations related to the possible implications of proposed product standards for racial and social justice. The agency also recognizes the importance of ensuring broad and equitable access to all tools and resources that can help smokers quit smoking. The FDA and HHS are working with federal partners to ensure that people trying to quit smoking are supported, especially in underserved communities.

Many insurance plans cover smoking cessation services such as medications and counseling at no out-of-pocket cost. Smokers interested in quitting smoking today should visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for information on smoking cessation services available in their state. The FDA is an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for protecting public health by ensuring safety and efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines, biological products for human use, medical devices, food supply safety, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that emit electronic radiation, as well as regulating tobacco products. As for the use of menthol and pure flavored cigarettes by young people, banning them would undoubtedly reduce their access to these addictive products that attract consumers with same flavors that FDA has already begun to regulate in vapor products. Tobacco flavorings and vaping products including menthol facilitate smoking because they taste good and make it easier to inhale these products.

Published modeling studies have estimated a 15 percent reduction in tobacco use over 40 years if menthol cigarettes were no longer available in United States. In late April 2021, Nevada Attorney General's Office conducted compliance checks which revealed a 30 percent failure rate among retailers that sell tobacco products to young people; many of those retailers sell flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes. Another federal agency has been sharing data on threats of menthols and flavorings in tobacco products for years now. The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act protects children and adults from second-hand cigarette smoke as well as second-hand aerosol from e-vaping products in most enclosed public places or enclosed workplaces.

Secondhand smoke is a combination of smoke from burning end of cigarette/cigar/pipe plus smoke exhaled by smokers themselves; some studies have also shown that people who smoke menthol cigarettes have harder time quitting smoking than those who smoke menthol-free versions. Banning menthol cigarettes would be an effective way to reduce tobacco use among young people while also providing support for those trying to quit smoking. The FDA requests comments on how best to make clear the respective functions of state and local law enforcement agencies when it comes to enforcing laws related to flavored tobacco products. Additionally, many insurance plans cover smoking cessation services such as medications and counseling at no out-of-pocket cost; smokers interested in quitting should visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for information on smoking cessation services available in their state.

Guilherme González
Guilherme González

Avid beer practitioner. Freelance internet fanatic. Freelance web fan. Hardcore social media expert. Devoted beer practitioner. General burrito lover.