FDA may ban menthol cigarettes

Published on December 7th, 2010 14:28

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is thinking to prohibit menthol cigarettes. As the target groups are African-Americans and youngsters, menthol cigarettes become a more disputable product than regular tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes are smoked by about three-quarters of African-American people, according to a Nicotine and Tobacco research.

“Menthol is masking the harsh taste of cigarettes, thus making them more pleasant to smoke. Masking is the trick which hides the initial irritant of the smoke, and then the smoker has to have more and more menthol in order to cover up this irritation, and namely here the addiction occurs,” stated Marisa Moore representative of the health promotion and recreation faculty.

menthol cigarettes

The FDA was given the power to regulate tobacco products in 2009 and has prohibited numerous fruit-flavored cigarettes, now menthol is their next aim. Menthol hides the harshness of cigarette smoke. Advertised as cooling and minty it makes cigarette market growing.
“Students find menthol cigarettes easy to smoke, and once they tried them, they become addicted. This is a very canny move of the largest tobacco companies. They can gain a lot of money from this product,” Moore stated.

Some studies conducted during 1987 – 2005 showed that cigarette advertisements in print media directed toward African-Americans were more likely to advertise menthols, according to FDA. It was found out that Ebony magazine was 9.6 times more likely to place menthol advertisements than People.

“African-Americans give preference to menthol cigarettes because they are mostly affected by advertisements in such magazines as: Ebony and People. Leading cigarette manufacturers lay out about $12.5 billion a year on marketing, or $3.4 million per day. This happens because of the significant discounts and widespread advertisements of menthol cigarettes that are targeted on low social status and low educated. The lack of education is what helps them gain money,” Moore stated.

African-Americans have higher rates of cancer, heart attacks and other smoking-related diseases. More than 37% of African-American men are at risk to develop lung cancer and about 22.5 % are more likely to die from this disease, according to the American Lung Association.

The FDA wants to demand all tobacco manufacturers to place graphic warning labels on cigarette packages as a part of the government’s new smoking prevention program. By 2012, all tobacco companies should have the labels in order to sell cigarettes.

“I think that these labels would be very effective in keeping people away from smoking,” stated Paul Collins of the political science faculty. “I think that if FDA puts the picture on the packages, than they should just ban all cigarettes. I don’t believe that if any cigarette has a flavor it is going to make youngsters smoke them and die,” said Ryan Laster, assistant manager.

Edward, who smokes regular cigarettes, said that he will continue smoking even if frightful images will be placed on the package.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: menthol | menthol cigarette | smoking ban | FDA | tobacco product | flavored cigarette | cigarette

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