The Food and Drug Administration is mulling a ban
on menthol cigarettes because it believes that much like other flavored tobacco, they disproportionately appeal to the younger crowd. And their use is growing.
Along with youth, for whom menthols are alleged to be a gateway
smoke, the minty-tasting brand of cigarette is also
consumed more often by low-income smokers and minorities. African-Americans are more than twice as likely to smoke menthols as whites and Hispanics. In fact, the FDA is funding research into racial preferences for menthol products, the report notes, to see if there is a genetic predisposition among some minority groups for consuming them.
"We think the evidence is there, the research is there, for FDA to move quickly to regulate menthol," said a spokesman for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. "Every day of delay results in more kids initiating smoking with menthols and fewer people quitting."
The tobacco industry, for its part, is pushing back by claiming that menthol cigarettes are no more dangerous than regular cigarettes, and that despite their greater appeal to teens, shouldn't be singled out for a ban or any lesser form of regulation.
Via Politico and MSN