Most voters are on board with removing menthol cigarettes from shelves, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey that comes days after the Food and Drug Administration proposed a ban on U.S. sales.
What you need to know
- Roughly 3 in 5 voters said they are in favor of a long-awaited FDA effort to ban U.S. sales of menthol cigarettes, which public health advocates say could help discourage young people from picking up smoking and curb racial disparities from smoking-related diseases. The ban, which also covers flavored cigars but doesn’t include menthol e-cigarettes, wouldn’t go into effect until a year after the final rule is published.
- Voters across the political spectrum back the proposal, including 66% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans. Another 28% of Republicans oppose the ban, compared with about 1 in 5 Democrats and a quarter of voters overall.
- In 2020, menthol cigarettes made up 37% of U.S. cigarette sales among major manufacturers, and they are particularly popular among minors and Black smokers. While the FDA plan has divided Black political leaders, Black voters are largely on board: 55% said they support the proposed menthol ban, while 29% oppose it.
- The menthol ban also has voter support across community type, though suburban voters are the most likely to back the proposal at 61%. Higher-income voters, those with more than a bachelor’s degree, and voters 65 or older are also more likely to support the ban.
- A recent study in the journal Tobacco Control found that if the United States imposed a menthol cigarette ban with the same outcome as a similar rule in Canada, an estimated 1.3 million additional smokers would quit.
The April 29-May 2, 2022, survey was conducted among a representative sample of 2,000 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Correction: A previous version of the chart in this story misstated the shares who supported and opposed the FDA’s proposed ban.