F.D.A. Moves to Ban Sales of Menthol Cigarettes

Friday, April 29, 2022
author picture Gabriel Martim
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Original content created by news.limited staff

FDA Moves to Ban Sales of Menthol Cigarettes

The FDA is taking another step toward banning the sale of menthol cigarettes. In previous attempts‚ the agency has been beaten back by Big Tobacco. The FDA will now hear public comments for 60 days before making its final rule. The implementation of this ban may be delayed by court battles. However‚ if the rule passes‚ it would be a welcome change for smokers.

menthol is added to cigarettes to make smoking less harsh

Many smokers like the cool minty taste menthol provides. This additive is used in popular brands of cigarettes. Menthol is believed to reduce the harshness of cigarette smoke‚ encouraging smokers to take deeper‚ more satisfying inhales. Menthol is a popular additive‚ with African American smokers reporting higher menthol use than white Americans. However‚ its use in cigarettes should not be relied on for determining whether it is effective in reducing the harshness of smoking. Studies have explored the sensory effects of menthol cigarettes‚ including the reinforcing effects of nicotine. In addition‚ researchers have examined how menthol affects smoking behaviors‚ and have suggested that it can reinforce or depress nicotine-addiction behaviors. In addition to studies on the effect of menthol on smoking behavior‚ research on the impact of menthol on cigarette habit shows that a smoker's intention to quit is higher among African Americans than among white smokers. Since menthol is addictive‚ it is often added to cigarettes. However‚ the ingredient is still legal to add to cigarettes despite federal restrictions on flavored tobacco products. Menthol is added to virtually every tobacco product‚ including cigars‚ electronic cigarettes‚ and smokeless tobacco. Because of the dangers‚ tobacco companies are reducing the amount of menthol used in their products. But a study published in the journal Tobacco Control found substantial amounts of menthol in e-liquid sold in the U.S. As a result of this controversy‚ the FDA is now considering eliminating menthol from cigarettes‚ as well as other tobacco products. This change will make smoking less harsh and more enjoyable‚ but it is not without risk. Tobacco companies have used this strategy to attract the youth market. And‚ they have incorporated a woman's flavor into their products. But‚ while there are many risks‚ the effects on health are clear.

Menthol is exempted from tobacco flavors

A recent study suggested that menthol in cigarettes increases smoking among minorities and young adults‚ and makes it more difficult to quit. The FDA disagreed with these findings‚ however‚ and in 2013 an internal study conducted by the agency reached similar conclusions. However‚ the ban was never implemented‚ despite a recent attempt by the Trump administration. However‚ the current law isn't the only factor in its demise. The recent report by the Tobacco Product Safety Advisory Council (TPSAC) concluded that menthol cigarettes are not a beneficial flavor for public health‚ and are not a reduced risk for smokers. As a result‚ TPSAC voted to ban menthol cigarettes from the market. The study also identified several negative consequences of menthol cigarettes' ban‚ including the rise of illicit and black market menthol products. The controversy surrounding menthol in cigarettes has continued to escalate. Anti-smoking groups and civil rights groups have sued the FDA for delaying action on the menthol ban. As a result‚ the FDA has been unable to eliminate any traditional tobacco products‚ despite the growing body of scientific evidence. A number of groups‚ including the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCC)‚ have filed lawsuits to prevent the ban. In addition to being an effective cooling agent‚ menthol is also an ingredient in many medicines‚ candies‚ and tobacco products. It has even been found in cigarettes with unlabeled menthol labels. Although the amount of menthol in tobacco products can vary widely‚ some types of cigarettes and vaporizers contain up to 8 times more than candy-flavored products. And in Ontario‚ menthol in tobacco products is banned in flavored cigars and cigarette smoke.

Menthol is added to cigars to make smoking less harsh

A popular flavoring ingredient for cigarettes‚ menthol provides cooling and painkilling effects while masking the astringent taste of tobacco. It is added to cigars and cigarettes in order to make smoking more pleasant and more appealing. Menthol was excluded from the FDA's 2009 ban on flavored cigarettes‚ but is now being included. The decision is a step in the right direction‚ but it won't take long for menthol cigars and flavored cigarettes to disappear from the market. The FDA has ordered tobacco companies to reduce the amount of menthol added to flavored tobacco products‚ but the decision may not be immediate. It will begin a years-long rule-making process. According to Asti Jackson‚ an assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine‚ time may be crucial to determine how to implement the ban. Further research is needed to determine how best to implement the new regulations‚ but in the meantime‚ the decision is likely to go against the tobacco industry's wishes. While menthol may not be harmful in and of itself‚ it is highly effective in making the smoking experience less harsh and is added to cigarettes‚ cigarillos‚ and menthol sprays. It is also present in roll-your-own tobacco products. Because of its addictive nature‚ it can be incredibly difficult to stop smoking. But many people continue to smoke menthol cigarettes‚ which makes the ban even more important. Although the FDA has yet to approve the proposed ban‚ it's possible that the ban could reduce the smoking rate by 15% within 5 years. Furthermore‚ it is estimated that a ban on menthol could reduce the number of smoking-related deaths by 650‚000 people by 2060. However‚ the proposed ban will not affect e-cigarettes. Moreover‚ if it goes into effect‚ many people may switch to these products‚ as they don't contain harmful chemicals.

Menthol is popular among young people

In a recent study‚ researchers found that teens who smoke menthol cigarettes smoked more than their peers. These results were surprising because menthol has been known to mask the harsh taste of cigarette smoke‚ which makes it more tempting for young people to start smoking. Yet‚ menthol is no safer than regular cigarettes and it may even increase the risk of a smoker's pulmonary disease. To further understand the reasons why menthol is so appealing to young people‚ it is helpful to look at the risks of smoking. In addition to promoting cigarette smoking‚ menthol is also used to flavour cigars and electronic cigarette products. Many young people find the fruit flavors of menthol cigarettes attractive and are attracted to them. In fact‚ the American Lung Association has called for a ban on these products. Moreover‚ many groups have endorsed a ban on menthol-flavored products. However‚ the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has not taken any action in the meantime. A recent survey revealed that 58.4 percent of youth and 55% of teenagers prefer to smoke menthol cigarettes. In addition‚ young adults aged 18 to 25 reported that 45 percent of them smoked menthol cigarettes‚ which amounted to about 5.2 million smokers in the U.S. The study also found that young people of color were the biggest users of menthol cigarettes. In addition‚ women and gay men were more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than whites or blacks. The study also found that the youth who first started smoking menthol cigarettes were more likely to be African-American‚ had older smoking experience‚ and had smoked menthol cigarette within the previous month. This suggests that menthol cigarettes were targeted at black youth. Indeed‚ over 80 percent of African-Americans reported smoking menthol cigarettes. The study also noted that peer-influence is a factor in young people smoking menthol cigarettes.

Menthol is popular in Black communities

Smoking menthol cigarettes is a major cause of disease and death in African American communities. Nearly forty thousand people die every year from tobacco-related diseases. In fact‚ nine out of ten African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes‚ compared to only 30 percent of Whites. This disparity stems from the fact that the tobacco industry targeted the Black community for profit by marketing menthol cigarettes. The tobacco industry appropriated Black culture in the process. Despite the fact that menthol cigarettes are highly popular in African American communities‚ the menthol industry has continued to market itself to a Black audience. A study published at Stanford University found a correlation between the presence of menthol advertising and high school students' smoking habits. Menthol smoke is also less expensive in African American communities‚ and thus the advertising doesn't affect non-menthol smokes. The popularity of menthol cigarettes among African Americans is a serious concern. More than 85 percent of African American smokers surveyed said that they preferred menthol cigarettes‚ and nearly forty-five percent said they would quit if these cigarettes were banned. While these numbers may seem low‚ there are a number of reasons why smokers of menthol cigarettes aren't quitting‚ including lack of access to smoke cessation services and higher rates of ad-reflection. In 2010‚ US legislators regulated tobacco as a drug. This meant that flavored cigarettes were prohibited‚ except menthol. However‚ powerful Black lawmakers fought the ban‚ and a bill without menthol was eventually passed. While it failed to pass the FDA's mandate in 2018‚ it still slipped through in 2018.