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AARC Reacts to Report on Menthol

Contact: Sherry Milligan

Irving, TX (July 31, 2013) The American Association for Respiratory Care lauded the FDA’s report on menthol cigarettes and pledged to support the agency as it seeks more evidence to make informed decisions about menthol.

“As respiratory therapists, we know that cigarette smoking is deadly and that numerous negative health consequences are clear,” said George Gaebler, AARC president. “The fact that menthol makes smoking even more attractive to some children and adults means that tougher rules, tougher standards, need to be in place.”

The FDA report shows that menthol does promote the initiation of smoking among adolescents, strengthens smoking addiction, and makes it harder to quit.

The FDA will be accepting public commentary on menthol cigarettes for the next 60 days. AARC will file comments, and is asking its members to do the same. “We will participate in this effort to gather information and protect our children,” said the AARC’s executive director, Thomas Kallstrom. “If the FDA sees that new standards are necessary, we certainly support that.”

In addition, the FDA announced it plans new research on the differences between menthol and nonmenthol cigarettes as they relate to menthol’s likely impact on smoking cessation and attempts to quit.

“We support whatever research and regulation is necessary to help decrease and eliminate smoking in this nation,” said Kallstrom.



About the AARC

The American Association for Respiratory Care, headquartered in Dallas, is a professional association of respiratory therapists that focuses primarily on respiratory therapy education and research. The organization’s goals are to ensure that respiratory patients receive safe and effective care from qualified professionals as well as supporting respiratory health care providers. The association continues to advocate on behalf of pulmonary patients for appropriate access to respiratory services provided by qualified professionals. Further information about the AARC and how to become a respiratory therapist are available at www.AARC.org.