Evidence against tobacco use is “clear, incontrovertible, and convincing,” the American Association for Cancer Research stated on April 13, 2010.
“Tobacco and Cancer: An American Association for Cancer Research Policy Statement” makes “an unequivocal call to all who are concerned about public health to take…immediate steps.” It was developed by the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer and is freely available on the AACR website.
The statement identifies recommendations for research and policy, including:
highlighting the unequal distribution of the burden of tobacco use
across different classes, races, ethnicities, and geographies, the
report addresses the issue of menthol. A cigarette additive marketed for
its physiological effects as an anti-irritant and a cooling agent,
menthol was explicitly excluded from the September 2009 United States
ban on characterizing flavors in cigarettes.
According to tobacco industry documents, menthol is marketed specifically to youth, young adults, women, and African Americans. There is also evidence that menthol helps sustain tobacco use, possibly contributing to the higher dependence levels and greater health burden found among African American smokers. The AACR report suggests that a significant body of research literature on the issue should help inform a policy banning menthol.
The new policy statement was developed by the AACR Task Force on Tobacco and Cancer. It is freely available on the AACR website in advance of print publication in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.