RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina’s attorney general is calling for the federal government to ban menthol cigarettes, according to a Friday news release.

Attorney General Josh Stein said banning menthol cigarettes would decrease smoking among youth, would help mitigate harm to minority communities, and would benefit public health in general.

“Menthol cigarettes are designed to be easier to smoke,” said Attorney General Josh Stein in the news release. “That means they make it easier to get hooked. What’s more, they’re marketed in ways that disproportionately harm young people and people of color. I urge the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes and help us prevent another generation of North Carolinians from becoming addicted to nicotine and suffering the consequences in years to come.”

The letter was sent to the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of Stein and a bipartisan coalition of 23 attorneys general. They point to the prevalence of menthol smoking, despite the overall decline in non-menthol smoking.

Stein’s previous efforts to prevent future generations from becoming addicted to nicotine included filing a lawsuit against e-cigarette maker Juul in 2019.