North Carolina Congressmen Rouzer and Davis Send Bipartisan Letter Amid FDA’s Proposed Menthol Cigarette Ban

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC-07) and Congressman Don Davis (D-NC-01), members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing concern about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and its impact on working families and farmers in North Carolina.

“This is a clear attack on North Carolina’s farm families and thousands of hardworking residents. The tobacco industry has brought generations out of poverty, sent children to college, and solidified North Carolina as the epicenter of a global enterprise. President Biden and his Administration must understand the immense impact this ban would have on the communities across our state who have relied upon tobacco production to support their livelihoods and weigh such an impact before any further action.” said Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07).

“My path of working in the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina to walking the halls of Congress was only made possible by the employment opportunities I had as a young child,” said Congressman Don Davis (NC-01).  “Not only would the proposed ban on menthol cigarettes increase the presence of illicit tobacco products on the market, it would also put eastern North Carolinians out of work without any viable employment alternatives. I urge the Administration to thoroughly consider the significant cultural, economic, and social effects a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars could have on the well-being of North Carolina before fully implementing such a measure.”

The letter states: “The menthol cigarette industry is responsible for 27,000 jobs in North Carolina alone. The production and sale of menthol cigarettes account for over 6,000 of those jobs, with more than 2,000 in manufacturing. Each one of these jobs represents the opportunity to buy a home, send a child to college, and provide a thriving life for their family. If OMB were to approve the FDA’s proposed final rule banning the sale of menthol cigarettes, each one of those jobs and the economic opportunity they bring would be lost. Throughout the state, this loss would mirror the struggle we experienced during the mass exodus of the textile and furniture industries over the past three decades.”

Read the full letter HERE.