A new research revealed that a great deal of Americans, namely most African Americans, sticked together in defense of banning menthol in cigarettes. Other cigarette flavorings have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration. In accordance with the report, 83 % of African American smokers and 24 % of white smokers use menthol cigarettes.
Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, of MGHfC and the lead author of the research said that over the long term the tobacco companies has significantly promoted menthol cigarettes to youth people and as a result, the menthol cigarettes are noticeably popular among teenagers. “African Americans and the main body of the population want the removing menthol from cigarettes,” added Winickoff. “The cigarette is one of the most highly developed products ever created and each flavoring has a particular purpose. Menthol cigarette additive is a principal element in marketing smoking by numbing the throat and allowing the smoke to go in deeper at an earlier stage of smoking.”
Researches conducted this research as a nationally representative telephone survey held in November 2009. Out of 2,560 respondents contacted, 1514 completed surveys. Because of the large percentage of African American smokers smoking menthol cigarettes, an additional 427 African American individuals were got connected. From that group, 303 individuals completed the survey. The two samples were analyzed separately.
Results demonstrated that 56.1 % of adult respondents support banning menthol in cigarettes. 68.0 percent were African Americans and 53.4 percent were whites who also supported prohibiting menthol in cigarettes. 50.3 percent of respondents, aged 18 – 24 years, supported a ban on menthol cigarettes; 71.2 percent of respondents, aged 16 years, supported a ban; 64.7 percent of women supported a ban on menthols.
Winickoff, who is as well an associate professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and affiliated with the Richmond Center of Excellence, said that cigarettes must be without menthol – the tobacco companies have already derived significant profits from the African American community.
Co-authors of the study include Robert C. McMillen, PhD, Susanne E. Tanski, MD and Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence; Jennifer L. Pearson, MPH and David Abrams, PhD with the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, American Legacy Institute; Donna M. Valone, PhD, MPH with the Department of Research and Evaluation, American Legacy Foundation; Cheryl Healton, DrPH with the American Legacy Foundation; and Janelle H. Dempsey, BA with the Center for Child and Adolescent Health Policy at MGHfC.
The study was backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Julius B. Richmond Center for Excellence and financed by the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute and a grant from the American Legacy Foundation.
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