The FDA will possibly ban menthol cigarettes saying they are more harmful to people than unflavored tobacco. FDA says menthol cigarettes are more addictive to longtime smokers and are more appealing to new smokers.
There was made a research on menthol’s effects as a tobacco additive and on July 23 the FDA released its 153-page report on it, Accrding to the data, adding peppermint oil extract to cigarettes doesn’t make them more likely to cause such diseases as emphysema and lung cancer. The research showed another result. Menthol in cigarettes was linked to altered physiological responses to tobacco smoke which may contribute to addictive qualities of tobacco and lead to smoking-related disease.
The new findings may result in new tobacco restrictions related to usage of menthol cigarettes. The FDA research on menthol opens the new possibilities in preventing smoking-related diseases.
The FDA says that taking measures in menthol cigarettes usage will affect minority communities. According to statistics, menthol cigarettes smoke almost 75% of African American smokers and 30% of Latino smokers.
In the nearest future the FDA would sponsor new studies of menthol as a tobacco additive. One of these studies would investigate if genetic differences in taste perception may explain the choice of menthol cigarette use.
In 2009 the agency got more regulatory powers over tobacco and since then it has banned many additives that make tobacco more appealing to young people. However, the ban did not touch menthol cigarettes, mainly because the serious opposition from African American community.
In 2010, several African American interest groups, among which was the National Black Chamber of Commerce, asked the FDA not to ban menthol as a cigarette additive substance. They said that such a decision may lead to creation of illegal market for menthol cigarettes.
The new research may help to determine what factors make African American smokers choose namely cigarettes with menthol.
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