Stay up to date on the latest statements, announcements and press releases from The Partnership For a Healthy Mississippi. For media inquiries and information, contact us at or call 601-420-2414.

The Partnership Receives Critical Investment from National Anti-Hunger Alliance

As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi is one of 52 organizations to receive funding through a critical $2.5 million investment from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. The national anti-hunger organization’s partnership grants will help stem the tide in persistent food insecurity that was exacerbated by pandemic-related shutdowns. 

Court Order Requires Tobacco Companies to Post Signs About Health Risks of Smoking at 200,000 Stores Across U.S. – Order Stems from 2006 Racketeering Verdict Against Companies

Statement of the American Cancer Society, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, The Center for Black Health & Equity (formerly the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network) and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund (public health intervenors in the case)
December 06, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under a federal court order issued today, the major U.S. tobacco companies will soon have to post signs telling the public the truth about the deadly consequences of cigarette smoking at nearly 200,000 retail outlets across the nation that sell cigarettes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           December 12, 2022

CONTACT:                     Dave Lemmon, 202-738-7983

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Tobacco Industry’s Request for Injunction Halting California’s Flavored Tobacco Law, Allowing Lifesaving Measure to Take Effect

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a request by R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco interests for an emergency injunction to block implementation of California’s law ending the sale of most flavored tobacco products, which was overwhelming approved by state lawmakers in 2020 and upheld in November by 64% of the state’s voters. This decision is a major victory for kids and public health and will allow this lifesaving law to take effect later this month. The decision is a rejection of desperate efforts by Reynolds and other companies to further delay the law so they can continue to target kids, Black Americans and other communities with flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

Reynolds has argued that the California law is preempted by federal law (the 2009 Tobacco Act) despite the explicit language of the Tobacco Control Act preserving the authority of states and localities to regulate, and even prohibit, the sale of tobacco products. While today’s decision is about Reynolds’ request for an injunction and does not decide the merits of the company’s preemption argument, there is no basis for the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings upholding the law. Reynolds has raised the preemption issue repeatedly, but every federal court that has considered this issue has held that the Tobacco Control Act does not preempt state and local laws restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products – including the First, Second and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.

The California law was passed in response to the clear evidence that flavored products have fueled the youth e-cigarette epidemic and the tobacco industry’s continued, predatory targeting of Black and other communities, especially kids, with flavored products like menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. By using the referendum to delay the law for two years, tobacco companies made about $800 million in revenue from menthol cigarette sales alone during this time period. Their lawsuit was aimed at further protecting their profits no matter the cost.

The tobacco companies’ battle against the California law shows once again that they haven’t changed and are lying when they claim to care about anything other than their bottom line. Reynolds and other companies will stop at nothing, including overriding the will of the voters, in order to continue targeting children and vulnerable communities with flavored products. Policymakers at every level must stand up to the tobacco industry’s bullying and take action to protect kids and save lives.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and 22 partner organizations filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging rejection of Reynolds’ request for an emergency injunction.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           January 10, 2023

CONTACT:          Dave Lemmon, 202-738-7983

Tobacco-Free Kids Strongly Supports Gov. Hochul’s Call to End Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products and Increase the Cigarette Tax in New York

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids strongly supports Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposals, made in her State of the State Address today, to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products in New York and increase the state’s cigarette tax from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack. Gov. Hochul deserves enormous credit for proposing these bold policies to protect kids from tobacco addiction, advance health equity and save countless lives. These policies will continue New York’s leadership in fighting tobacco use – the nation’s number one cause of preventable death – and improve health and save lives in the state for generations to come. We urge the New York Legislature to approve these policies during this year’s session.

Gov. Hochul’s plan includes introducing legislation to expand the state’s current prohibition on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products. This is a critically important proposal to stop the tobacco industry’s predatory targeting of kids, Black Americans and other groups with flavored products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Flavored products are one of the tobacco industry’s most pernicious tactics for targeting and addicting kids, and research shows that 81% of kids who have ever used a tobacco product started with a flavored product. Gov. Hochul’s plan will also help end the industry’s decades-long targeting of Black communities with menthol cigarettes, which has had a devastating toll on Black health and lives and is a major cause of health disparities. The evidence shows that menthol cigarettes are more addictive, easier for kids to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit.

Increasing the state cigarette tax by $1 per pack will also have an enormous impact. The evidence is clear that raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, especially among kids.

While New York has made enormous progress in reducing tobacco use, 28,200 New York adults still die each year as a result of smoking and 280,000 New York kids now under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. Gov. Hochul’s proposals represent enormous steps to create a tobacco-free generation and end the death and disease caused by tobacco use.

In addition to supporting these proposals, we urge the New York City Council to approve Intro. 577, legislation introduced by Council Member Rita Joseph to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. Council Speaker Adrienne Adams has previously voiced strong support for these actions and should expeditiously move the bill forward for a vote and passage. Doing so would save lives in New York City and set a tremendous example for the state.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           January 31, 2023

CONTACT:                 Dave Lemmon, 202-738-7983

FTC Report Shows U.S. Cigarette Sales Fell to Under 200 Billion for First Time in 2021 and Have Dropped by 70% Since 1981

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission’s latest report on cigarette sales and marketing, released Monday, shows that cigarette sales by the largest U.S. cigarette companies fell to 190.2 billion in 2021, the first time cigarette sales have fallen below 200 billion and a drop of 70% from a high of 636.5 billion in 1981. The 6.7% drop from 2020 to 2021 shows that the long decline in cigarettes sales has resumed after a small upward blip in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The huge, continuing drop in cigarette sales is one of our nation’s greatest public health success stories and reflects the enormous declines in smoking rates among both youth and adults in recent decades. It will pay off in improved health and countless lives saved for generations to come.

These declines also underscore the proven effectiveness of strategies that have been implemented to reduce tobacco use, including increased tobacco taxes and prices, comprehensive smoke-free laws, well-funded prevention and cessation programs, hard-hitting mass media campaigns, and, more recently, state and local laws ending the sale of flavored tobacco products. It is noteworthy that the largest drops in cigarette sales occurred in 1999, after cigarette prices were raised significantly as a result of the state tobacco settlements, and in 2009, when the largest-ever federal cigarette tax increase and numerous state cigarette tax increases were implemented. The evidence couldn’t be clearer that significantly increasing the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking. The real path to a smoke-free future is to fully implement these proven strategies, not through the false promises of the tobacco industry.  

It is especially critical that the FDA swiftly finalize and implement its proposed rules to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and that states and cities continue to crack down on flavored products as well. The FTC report shows the menthol share of the cigarette market has grown steadily and now constitutes 37% of the market, more than double the 16% in 1963. This is no accident. It is the direct result of the tobacco industry’s aggressive and targeted marketing of menthol cigarettes, especially to Black Americans. The FDA has found that menthol cigarettes are more addictive, easier for kids to start and harder for smokers to quit. Banning menthol cigarettes is the critical next step to continue driving down smoking rates and reduce tobacco-related health disparities in the United States, and the FDA must act without delay.

The FTC report is also a reminder that the tobacco companies continue to spend huge sums to promote their deadly and addictive products in a desperate effort to protect sales and profits. In 2021, the top tobacco companies spent $8.6 billion – about $1 million every hour – to market cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, the bulk of it on price discounts that make tobacco products more affordable and appealing to kids.

Despite our progress, tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, killing over 480,000 people and costing over $241 billion in health care expenditures each year. Our enormous progress leaves no doubt that we can win the fight against tobacco, but only if policymakers at every level implement the proven strategies that have achieved so much already.

Related Materials:

FTC Press Release
FTC Cigarette Report for 2021

FTC Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2021