Menthols Might Be Worse Than Regular Cigarettes

Because they make people more likely to smoke: FDA panel

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 23, 2013 3:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – The days of menthol cigarettes might be doomed: A new FDA review suggests that menthols are more dangerous than regular cigarettes, reports Reuters. It's not because they're any more toxic—it's because the mint flavor, along with menthol's ability to mask the harshness of a cigarette, seems to make people more likely to start smoking and less likely to stop. Those factors and others make it "likely that menthol cigarettes pose a public health risk above that seen with non-menthol cigarettes," says the review.

While that doesn't seem to bode well for Lorillard, maker of the popular Newport menthol brand, any potential regulatory is action is years away, reports the Wall Street Journal. The review did not recommend any restrictions, which displeased anti-smoking advocates, reports the New York Times. For now, the FDA is seeking public comment over 60 days on whether menthol flavoring should be banned—as all other types of flavoring are—and on how the cigarettes are marketed to youths and minorities. The latter stems from the stat that 80% of black smokers prefer menthols. Overall, menthols account for about 25% of cigarettes sold in the US.

  (Shutterstock)
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