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Health Committee Moves Legislation to Prohibit Sale of Menthol-Flavored Cigarettes


Trenton – Legislation that would update state law to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes was released from the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.


The bill, sponsored by committee Chair Joe Vitale, along with Senator Robert Singer, Senator Sandra Cunningham and Senator Patrick Diegnan, would update current State law to reflect the federal ban on clove-flavored cigarettes, and additionally prohibit the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes.


“For decades Big Tobacco intentionally and recklessly, and almost exclusively, marketed menthol cigarettes to Black and other communities of color. The result addicted millions of New Jerseyans and Americans to a life of sickness and death,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex).


“Big Tobacco’s racist behavior and policy had doomed so many simply for profit. It is well past time to put an end to the sale of this deadly product and call out tobacco companies for their willful disregard of human life,” added the Senator.


Because menthol cigarettes are more comfortable to smoke, research has shown that smokers inhale more often, inhale more deeply, and hold the smoke in longer, increasing lung exposure to the chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies have also shown menthol smokers become more nicotine dependent and less successful with smoking cessation efforts when compared with other smokers.


The bill, S-299, was released from committee by a vote 6-2.