Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, said in the United States about 30 percent of all adult smokers and more than 40 percent of all youth smokers report smoking menthol cigarettes.
"Menthol cigarettes raise critical public health questions," Hamburg said in a statement. "The FDA is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the public health issues raised by menthol cigarettes, and public input will help us make more informed decisions about how best to tackle this important issue moving forward."
The agency issued the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to obtain additional information related to potential regulatory options it might consider, such as establishing tobacco product standards, among others.
The public comment period lasts 60 days.
The FDA will consider all comments, data, research and other information submitted to the docket to determine what, if any, regulatory action with respect to menthol in cigarettes is appropriate, Hamburg said.